COLUMBUS, Ga. - The Columbus Cottonmouths signed forward Adam Kuhn and also extended training camp invites to defenseman Ivan Lyaskevich and forward Nikita Poliakov the team announced on Tuesday. Kuhn comes to Columbus after being on the other side of the ice as the Snakes celebrated their championship last season as a member of the Pensacola Ice Flyers, while Lyaskevich and Poliakov will begin their season in ECHL training camps but will also be on the Snakes' roster.
Kuhn, who just celebrated his 23rd birthday on September 10, comes to Columbus after spending his rookie season in the SPHL with Pensacola last year, bringing an immediate physical presence to the Ice Flyers. He dropped the gloves for his team frequently at the start of the season, picking up a fighting major in five of Pensacola's first six games. His
106 penalty minutes on the year were one fewer than captain Dan Buccella for the team lead last season; however, Kuhn accumulated his in twenty fewer games played than Buccella. Kuhn picked up 14 points (8G, 6A) in 35 games, with ten of those points scored in eight games bookended around an extended stint on the injured reserve list. The diminutive 5'9", 165-pounder scored five points in the four games both prior to going on injured reserve and after being activated from the IR. Four of those points during that stretch were on the power play as he became a regular member of the Ice Flyers' special teams.
"Adam was a thorn in our side whenever we played Pensacola last season," said Cottonmouths head coach and general manager Jerome Bechard. "I liked what I saw out of him; you always knew when he was on the ice, and he played the game with a lot of heart. I'm looking forward to having someone with that kind of energy on our roster."
Lyaskevich stands 6'2" and is 210 pounds, bringing another big presence to the blue line. The 22-year-old Moscow native played junior A hockey with Bradford of the Greater Metro Hockey League from 2008-11, scoring 48 points (12G, 36A) with 215 PIM in 89 games during that stretch. This will be Poliakov's second shot in the SPHL as he was signed by the Mississippi RiverKings last season but was not on the team's opening day roster.
Poliakov is a native of Toronto and played two seasons of junior hockey from 2008-10 in his home province's Ontario Hockey League with Upper Canada. In 84 games with Upper Canada, the 6'1", 185-pounder picked up 55 points (21G, 34A). The 23-year-old Poliakov spent the 2010-11 season with 1000 Islands in the Federal Hockey League, notching 18 points (8G, 10A) in 42 games.
"Both Ivan and Nikita come recommended from an old teammate of mine, Jim Thomson, who I played with in New Haven in the Kings' farm system," said Bechard. "They'll both be in the 'Coast to start camp but have the potential to be great assets for our team."