MOLINE, Ill. — All roads lead back to Illinois, somehow. A player who went from what was then the northernmost team in the SPHL to the deep south has returned to the Land of Lincoln, and the new northernmost team in the SPHL. The acquisition comes with rules and is not without profit for the team in the deep south, as they will be able to select a player from the Quad City Storm roster.
Forward Dakota Klecha was acquired by the Quad City Storm on Tuesday from the Macon Mayhem for future considerations. In his 127 professional games over the course of three seasons with three teams, the Taylor, Michigan native has scored 96 points (48G, 48A). Klecha is a familiar face to Storm head coach Dave Pszenyczny, as they were teammates on the Peoria Rivermen between 2016 and 2018.
“Klecha is a top forward in our league,” Pszenyczny said in a press release announcing the trade. “He brings experience and speed to our right side and embraces the community in each city he plays in.”
Adding speed and experience can only be a good thing for the Storm, as last season the team was a young one full of rookies and second-year pros. Having the familiarity between Pszenyczny and Klecha will also be a boon, as Pszenyczny will have a better understanding of what the forward is capable of and the game he plays.
The winger brings SPHL playoff experience to the team as well, having seen action in 13 games in the hunt for the Presidents Cup in back-to-back seasons. In those 13 games, Klecha made his way onto the scoresheet with three goals and six assists. This playoff experience will help the team, especially considering Klecha has plenty of experience in do-or-die games.
Klecha is a tough one to beat, showing resilience in the face of adversity. After breaking his wrist last December, he didn’t grow discouraged following his return exactly two months later. While his point-per-game production dropped from .944 to .4 following his injury and then being put onto season-ending injured reserve on April 6, this isn’t a fair reflection of his productivity.
“I am super stoked to play in the Quad Cities. It’s a great area with an unreal fan base,” said Klecha. “Quad City was good last year and only needs a few players to climb that hump. I feel as a player and a person Quad City will be a perfect fit.”
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