The Berkshire Cycles Bracknell Bees are delighted to announce that they’ve agreed terms with 34 year old Finnish / Swedish defenceman Niko Suoraniemi which see him ice in the black, white and gold of the Bees from Sunday.
Niko learned his hockey in Finland and progressed to represent his country in the World Junior Championships at Under 18 level in 2001/02. In 2004/05 he headed to America where he played four years in the NCAA split between Bemidji State University and Gustavus Adolphus College with a pair of seasons for each.
Following the NCAA in 2008/09 Niko returned to Europe and to the Netherlands and firstly Destil Trappers Tilburg. The four seasons in the Netherlands also saw Niko’s offensive side develop. The next two season were spent icing for Ruijters Eaters Geleen which were again good offensively and defensively. From 2011 to 2013 two more seasons followed in the Netherlands with Eindhoven Kemphanen recording a total of 108 points from 196 games.
The next year was a busy year as the European season was spent with Herlev Eagles in Denmark before a summer season in Australia scoring 7+22 from 26 starts with Adelaide Adrenalin and an even more impressive 23 points at 2.3 per game for Adelaide Falcons.
In 2014/15 Niko first experienced the UK, signing for Fife Flyers in the Elite League again scoring well with 2+13 from 31 games.
Four more years in Europe followed before this return to the United Kingdom ready to make his Bees debut this Sunday at Streatham.
Head Coach Doug Sheppard commented on his latest signing; “I’m pleased we’ve signed Niko. He’s got some experience of the UK game having played in Fife and I’ve heard nothing but good things about him as both a person and player.
“We’re getting a really good all round defenceman in Niko. Looking at the bigger picture, if we were to get an injury on the back end we would be a little thin back there.”
Niko stands at 5’9” tall and weighs 190lbs. He shoots left handed.
Saturday the Bees are on home ice at the Hive against Invicta in a 6pm face-off. This is the last game in our four game suspension. On Sunday we travel to Streatham for a 6.45pm face-off and it will be Sunday when Niko makes his debut.