Mallards strengthen blue line with Bigos, Sova

MOLINE, Ill. – The Quad City Mallards have signed defensemen Kyle Bigos and Ales Sova for the 2017-18 season.

The Mallards are the ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's Vegas Golden Knights and the American Hockey League's Chicago Wolves.

Bigos, 28, makes his return to the ice with the Mallards after last playing early last season for the Idaho Steelheads. The Upland, Calif. native skated in a pair of games for Idaho last October after spending the 2015-16 campaign in the United Kingdom with the Edinburgh Capitals of the Elite Ice Hockey League. Bigos scored 20 points (5g-15a) in 44 games with Edinburgh. He also finished fifth in the EIHL with 157 penalty minutes.

Bigos, who was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the fourth round (94th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draf, has recorded 48 points (9g-39a) along with 365 penalty minutes in 156 career regular-season games.

Before his Scottish excursion, Bigos skated in the ECHL for the bulk of his first two professional seasons. He broke into the ECHL in 2013-14 with the San Francisco Bulls and joined the Ontario Reign later that season. Between the two clubs, he totaled 13 points (3g-10a) and 110 penalty minutes in 59 games. Bigos’ rookie campaign also saw him play five AHL games - during which he picked up one assist - for the Worcester Sharks.

Bigos returned to Ontario for the 2014-15 season and helped the Reign reach the Western Conference Finals. He notched 13 points (1g-12a)

Before turning pro, Bigos piled up 47 points (14g-33a) to go with 457 penalty minutes in 133 games over four seasons at Merrimack College. As a sophomore in 2011, Bigos not only helped propel the Warriors to their first NCAA Tournament berth in 23 years, but also scored Merrimack’s first tournament goal in better than two decades. Bigos was named to the Hockey East All-Academic team as a sophomore and would go on to serve as an assistant captain as a senior.

Bigos also enjoyed success in junior hockey. He capped off his two-year tour with the Vernon Vipers by winning the British Columbia Hockey League’s Fred Page Cup title in 2009.

Sova, 25, joins the Mallards after playing his first seven seasons in Europe. The product of Brno, Czech Republic last season scored 12 points (1g-11a) in 36 games with Herning Blue Fox in Denmark’s Metal Ligaen.

Sova first arrived in Denmark midway through the 2015-16 season. He posted two points (1g-1a) in 13 regular-season games before joining a postseason drive that took Herning to the Metal Ligaen finals. Earlier in that campaign, Sova skated in both Italy- for Asiago- and the Czech Republic- with LHK Jestrabi Prostejov.

Sova began his travels abroad after coming up through the ranks with Czech clubs. Sova emerged from HC Kometa Brno’s under-20 squad, but played only one regular season game for the club proper. After a 10-game stint with Prostejov during the 2009-10 season, his career began in earnest when he joined HC Havlickuv Brod as a 19-year old in 2010-11. Late in the following season he moved on to Orli Znojmo, which, while based in the Czech Republic, is a member of the Austrian Erste Bank Eishockey Liga. Sova and Znojmo would reach the EBEL playoffs in each of his four seasons with the team. In all, Sova has played 272 career regular season games in Europe and has produced 43 points (11g-32a).