Val Pusteria lost out to Asiago in the playoff finals in Italy’s Lega Italiana Hockey su Ghiaccio. However, it was a member of the losing team and an Ontario Hockey League grad selected as the LIHG’s 2011 Player of the Year.
Matt Kelly won the award while leading the team from the blueline. He netted nine and helped out on 24 others for 33 points in 34 regular season games. He continued at a point per game in the playoffs.
Kelly played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League from 2002-03 to 2005-06, all with the Belleville Bulls. Undrafted, he played three seasons in the East Coast Hockey League with the Victoria Salmon Kings before heading to Italy.
Last season, 2009-10, Matt made a splash in his first season with Val Pusteria. Kelly led all LIHG defensemen in assists and points with 36 and 43.
As of now, Matt is unsigned for the 2011-12 season. Rumours in February had him going to Germany’s DEL but nothing came of it. It’s certain that Italy wants him back.