Rutkis Added to GB U20’s

Great Britain Under-20s head coach Pete Russell has added forward Toms Rutkis to his squad for next month’s World Championship in Tallinn.

The 17-year-old Swindon Wildcats forward has dual citizenship with Latvia and Great Britain – and Ice Hockey UK had to check with the IIHF about the youngster’s eligibility before naming him in the squad.

He will now take his place in the travelling party for next month’s Division 2A tournament from 7th to 13th December 2014.

GB will take on hosts Estonia, along with Korea, Lithuania, Netherlands and Romania.

Russell said: “Tom is an exciting player with offensive punch – every team needs that.

“He is a good addition and it’s great for Tom to finally get his clearance.

“We have a solid roster this year and a good mix of talent.”

Ice Hockey UK’s general secretary, Andy French, explained what had to be done to make sure Rutkis was eligible to play for GB.

“We had to have correspondence with the IIHF about this issue and we wanted to make sure that he could play,” said French.

“It was important that the IIHF had all the correct paperwork to make sure he was eligible.

“Now this is done, he is free to play for GB and I know the U20s coaching staff are thrilled to have him available.”