Wildcats One to Watch – Stevie Whitfield
|Date of Birth: 12/10/1990||Nationality: British|
|Height: 5’9”||Weight: 13st 5lbs|
|Position: Defence||Shoots: Right|
Our One to Watch this evening is a Swindon born and bred defenceman, Stevie Whitfield came up through the junior system in Swindon and made his debut in senior ice hockey for the Wildcats ENL side in 2007 when he was just 16.
The following season was when Whitfield first made his debut with the senior Wildcats playing just the one game but this was to be the first of many in years to come. Over the next 2 seasons his time was split between the ENL Wildcats and the senior side that were playing in the EPL at the time. Being a young defenceman, it was always going to be tough to step up to the EPL without this additional development time and it really has proved worth the wait for the Wildcats in the long term.
The Wildcats are the only team Whitfield has ever played for and this season will be the 14th consecutive season that he will have laced up his skates at the Link Centre. The majority of Whitfield’s time with the Wildcats was spent in the EPL, the EPL was a very competitive league and contained some of the best players we’ve ever seen grace the Link Centre ice. He has been a solid and dependable defenceman throughout his time in Swindon and at a time where good British defenceman are a real rarity the Wildcats know they’ve got a great player that they know they can rely on every night.
Hull Seahawks One to Watch – Nathan Salem
|Date of Birth: 17/09/1991||Nationality: British|
|Height: 5’11”||Weight: 13st 12lbs|
|Position: Forward||Shoots: Left|
Tonight’s one to watch is a high scoring British forward, Nathan Salem is a product of the Whitley Bay junior system and he played there right up until he was 18 years old.
It was at this point Salem got his first call up to the Elite league with the Newcastle Vipers, he played the full 2009-10 season with them and he scored 10 points in 51 games which was very impressive for someone so young. While finding his feet in senior hockey Salem was called up to the GB junior sides, U-18 in 2008 and U-20 in 2009, he scored 9 points and 7 points in the respective tournaments where he represented GB.
Following his breakout year in the Elite League Salem signed again for the Vipers but only played for half a season before joining Edinburgh and latterly the Telford Tigers in the EPL. After this tumultuous season Salem moved to the Solway Sharks who initially played in ENL2 and Salem destroyed this league, proving he was far to good for that level, he scored 104 points in just 27 games! His second season with Solway in NIHL 1 saw him once again score freely, this time returning 66 points in 30 games.
Following his time with Solway Salem joined up with Telford in the EPL and he was a key member of their trophy winning season under the ownership of Red Hockey and Wayne Scholes. Unfortunately, when the Telford ownership went bust Salem was one of the casualties and he left for the Hull Pirates. For the final year of the EPL Salem was in Hull and he captained the Pirates side, he recorded yet another point per game season in the EPL.
With the collapse of the EPL and the move of teams into the existing NIHL structure he decided to join Peterborough in NIHL South 1, it was to be another successful scoring season for Salem which has become a theme in his career so far.
After the one year stay in Peterborough, Salem signed for Sheffield, first in NIHL North 1 and now the NIHL National division. While in Sheffield he managed to score 107 points in 73 games but he left midway through the 2021-22 season and joined the Peterborough Phantoms, however his stay here was short lived. At the beginning of the 2022-23 season Salem signed with the newly formed Hull Seahawks.
Salem is a go to player for Hull and they will expect him to be a threat all night for the Swindon defence.