The Kodiak Melbourne Mustangs will unveil their latest import on their New South Wales road trip this weekend.
Jordan Owens, the Mustangs’ third international comes with an impressive resume having spent five seasons with the New York Rangers and Detroit Redwings organisations.
The left-winger also plied his trade professionally in Denmark, Italy and Germany but spent the 2018-19 season in England playing for the Sheffield Steelers, tallying 26 points in 51 games.
Mustangs president John Belic said the signing of Owens was a huge coup for the team and ice hockey in Australia.
“There have been players in the past that have played NHL, but I don’t recall anybody having played so many games in the AHL and the DEL which is the top German league,” he said.
“Jordan played nearly 350 games in the AHL so he is the biggest fish we’ve ever landed…we’re exceptionally excited to have him join us.
“He’ll bring experience to our young team and will show how top players are great both offensively and defensively, in ways that don’t appear in stats.”
With just two imports on the roster and the decommitment of fellow EIHL player Travis Fullerton, Mustangs staff took little time to secure Owens.
“From the time Jordan replied to us with a yes we sorted ITCs and visas and booked plane tickets within four days,” Belic said.
“The club doesn’t always move that quickly but when it’s required, we can certainly do wonderful things.”
Born in Toronto, Owens came through Canada’s major junior leagues playing with Chatham Maroons in the Western Ontario Hockey League and then the Mississauga IceDogs in the OHL.
On June 12, 2007, he was signed as an undrafted free agent to an entry level contract with the New York Rangers before eventually being traded to Detroit Red Wings on March 3, 2010.
Owens never received a call-up to the NHL but proved himself at AHL level with the Hartford Wolfpack and Grand Rapids Griffins.
He also completed a loan move to the Hamilton Bulldogs and had stints with the Charlotte Checkers and South Carolina Stingrays in the East Coast Hockey League.
The 2012-13 season was Owens’ first in Europe, playing with SønderjyskE he helped the team to a Danish Championship and Danish Cup.
He then joined WSV Sterzing in the Italian Serie A for the 2014-15 campaign, leading the team with 60 points, before moving to Germany and the Fischtown Pinguins for the next three seasons.
Now 33, Owens was eyeing retirement, but with the chance to see Australia, the Mustangs’ offer proved too good to pass up before finally hanging up his skates.
Owens comes here with his partner and their four-month-old baby, and before he even settles in Melbourne will be on a flight to Sydney for Saturday’s clash with the Bears.
The Mustangs meet the fifth placed Bears (2-2) at the Macquarie Ice Rink before heading to Newcastle the following day to face the table-topping Northstars (6-0).
Puck drop is 5pm Saturday and 4pm Sunday.
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