YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Phantoms have added defenseman Lukas Klok to their active roster, head coach and general manager Anthony Noreen announced today. A Czech Republic native, Klok, 18 joins the Phantoms after spending four seasons playing in the youth system for the Czech club HC Vitkovice.
“Lukas is an experienced defensemen who’s big, strong and plays the style of game that we want to play,” Noreen said. “He’s a guy who can help us – I think he’s a power-play guy and a penalty-killer – and from what we’ve seen so far, he looks like a legitimate top-pair USHL defensemen.”
A 6-foot-1, 175-pound defenseman, Klok split time last season between the HC Vitkovice Under-18 team and U-20 team. He was a point per-game blue liner with the U-18 team, racking up four goals, 23 assists and 27 points with 40 penalty minutes in just 24 games. He was called up to the HC Vitkovice U-20 team midway through the season and recorded 1-4-5 with 57 penalty minutes in 24 games.
Klok’s play received praise from former Phantoms forward Nathan Walker, who was a teammate at the Czech club last season before making the jump to Youngstown and the USHL in January. Walker, who recently signed a professional contract with the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears, provided rave reviews to Noreen and assistant GM and director of player personnel Jason Koehler.
“Nathan’s a guy coming out of our program whose opinion we really respect, and he couldn’t have spoken any higher of Lukas,” Noreen said. “That was very important to us – to hear it come from Nathan. He thought Lukas would be a guy we’d love here that plays our style and would help us. We’re excited to have him.”
Koehler also thanked Klok’s previous club and advisor for facilitating the move early in the season.
“I’d like to personally thank the entire HC Vitkovice organization for their support throughout this entire process. It’s an absolutely first-class organization and they’ve been extremely accommodating,” Koehler said. “I’d also like to thank Lukas’s advisor for his diligent work behind the scenes to get this deal finalized.”
Klok could make his debut this weekend at the Covelli Centre when the Phantoms host the Indiana Ice Friday and the Lincoln Stars Saturday. He will wear No. 13 for Youngstown.
In a separate transaction, Noreen announced that the team has dealt forward Sebastian Vidmar and a seventh-round pick in the 2014 USHL Phase 1 Draft to the Chicago Steel in exchange for their fourth-round pick in the USHL Phase 1 Draft. A native of Malmo, Sweden, Vidmar recorded a shot and minus-1 rating in one game with the Phantoms this season.
“Sebastian has a great future in the game and should have a lot of success,” Noreen said. “This is situation where we did what we think is best for his career and best for our program in the long term. He did everything right while he was here and he will certainly be missed in our locker room. We wish him nothing but the best in the future.”
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)