Forward Mike Hammond says the potential to play for Great Britain in a World Championship on home ice is a very exciting prospect.
The 32-year-old joined Elite League side Nottingham Panthers yesterday for the 2022-23 season.
The UK will host the World Championship Division 1 Group A at Nottingham’s National Ice Centre from 29th April to 5th May 2023.
GB will be joined by Italy, Lithuania, Korea, Poland and Romania in the six-team group, with the teams finishing first and second winning promotion to the 2024 top-level World Championship in Prague and Ostrava in Czechia.
“I’m excited and hopefully I will get the opportunity to play,” Hammond told BBC Nottingham Sport.
“My aim is to have a good year and go into the playoff weekend, finish that off nicely and then go straight to GB.
“Obviously the aim is the gold medal and try to get back up to the top level. It would be so special on home ice.”
Hammond, who made his GB debut in 2018, has made 22 appearances for the national side, scoring six goals and adding six assists for 12 points.
However, he missed this year’s World Championship in Finland because of injury.
“It was very frustrating,” continued Hammond. “It was a tough end to the year. I played a lot of minutes and had a tough injury, but battled through to playoffs.
“Our season ended about a week before the GB camp started. I spoke with doctors and specialists to try and figure out some answers.
“Then I had to think about the long term to ensure I was healthy for this year.”
Photo credit: Dean Woolley.