Jordan Pietrus joined the Blaze later in the season than most of the players, initially coming in as injury cover, but he played well enough to earn himself a permanent spot on the roster.The 30-year-old from Vermilion, Alberta, spent last season in Poland for KH Sanok, posting 70 points (28 goals and 42 assists) in 56 regular-season and play-off games, making himthe leading point-scorer and joint-highest goal scorerin the league. He also scored four goals and one assist in six Continental Cup appearances. While he was at University he spent several seasons as either Captain or Alternate, and it’s easy to see why when you talk to him about the team and how he has settled in.
“I think I’ve settled in pretty well,” he said.“The organisation has been pretty professional in helping me and my wife settle in and I’ve been enjoying Coventry so far. We’ve been made to feel comfortable. The fans have been unbelievable and everything has gone pretty well.”
Making the move from one country to another is never easy and having played in Poland last season but not been picked up at the start of this must have been quite challenging. Arriving late to a team that has already formed does not come without its challenges. “Fitting in with the guys wasn’t too hard to be honest. They are a great group of guys and they welcomed me. On the ice it took me a while to feel like I was settled as the rest of the guys had eight weeks of training together beforehand, so that was a little bit difficult for me initially. I feel that over the past few weeks I’ve started to get more confidence and bring my game up to another level, one that I am happy with. It’s been a slow process for me, but I think it’s coming,” he explained.
Having come for a short term role, Jordan quickly impressed both fans and coach, and as a result was offered a contract for the rest of the season. “I came here with the intention of winning a job, he smiled.“I was fortunate enough that I was able to do that and I’m glad to have that opportunity.”
During his time with us, Pietrus has shown that he plays very well when on a line with Lauzon and Lukacevic, but that he is equally comfortable playing on any line combination that Coach Weber puts him on. He explained, “The line combinations have been changing quite a bit, I feel like each game we’re starting to improve. There are some guys you naturally have chemistry with, and I’ve played with a lot of the guys. There are still some people on the team I’ve not played on a line with yet though! Our team is trying to find the formula for success, it’s a process. The line with Lauzon and Lukacevic worked well for a while and then we had to change it up again. The last few games have been a bit different, but playing with those guys has been great. We have a line up full of great players and it’s a pleasure to play with everyone.”
Not long after he arrived, Blaze fans voted Jordan as their ‘Player of the Month’ for October. He seemed pretty stunned as he talked about that accolade. “It’s an honour to have been recognised as player of the month. It’s humbling and exciting as it means I’m doing the right things. It’s a product of the environment, playing hockey with good players. I’m fortunate that my line mates are able to help me out, and we had some success. It’s great that the fans recognised it too.”
Looking forward to the rest of the season, Pietrus has the same desire as any hockey player – to win a trophy or two. “We’ve had a rough stretch, but for the rest of the season I want to win some silverware and win a championship. We have to take it one game at a time, one day at a time. We need to continually get better and hopefully we’ll reach the point in our last game of winning a trophy!”