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Another NHLer off to the UK: Beleskey signs with Coventry

Matt Beleskey

The Elite Ice Hockey League continues to reap lockout rewards.

That was the story on Tuesday as the Coventry Blaze announced the signing of Anaheim Ducks forward Matt Beleskey.

“I am excited to be on my way over,” Beleskey told the team website. “I had been trying to find my way overseas to play and luckily enough a friend of my dad’s was able to put me in contact with Coventry.

“I was excited about the opportunity and very happy it’s worked out.”

The move means the UK-based league now has four locked-out NHLers in the fold: Beleskey, Anthony Stewart (Nottingham), Drew Miller (Braehead) and Tom Sestito (Sheffield).

Beleskey, 24, has spent his entire professional career in the Anaheim organization, appearing in a career-high 70 games last season and posting a career-high 11 assists. The former Belleville Bulls standout is in the final season of a two-year, $1.475 million deal signed with the Ducks in 2011.

In Coventry, he’ll play alongside another guy with NHL experience. Former Canucks winger Brad Leeb made the jump to the EIHL this season after spending five years in the German league, and already has 11 points through nine games.