The Missouri Mavericks, the new hockey team that begins play in November in Independence signed former Central Hockey League (CHL) MVP Jeff Christian Thursday as the first player in team history. 

Christian, is entering his 20th professional season and fifth in the CHL.  The 6-foot-2, 210-pound right winger was selected in the second round (23rd overall) of the 1988 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils.  He played a total of 18 games in the NHL with New Jersey, Pittsburgh and Phoenix.

"We are thrilled to have a player of Jeff’s caliber join our team," said Hillman. "He is a big presence with NHL experience, a former league MVP and he will be a great leader for our young players."

Christian has played 1,198 games in his 19-year professional career and has averaged nearly a point per contest scoring 1155 points (495-660=2255).  Christian has played the last four seasons in the CHL and has more points than any other player in the league during that time with 382 points (144-238=382) in 245 games played.  He was named the CHL’s Most Valuable Player for the 2006-07 season while playing for the Youngstown SteelHounds. 

The Missouri Mavericks will begin their inaugural season this fall at the brand-new Independence Events Center.  Season tickets are on sale now starting at $352.  Call the Mavericks’ front office at (816) 252-PUCK (7825) or visit