Belfast Telegraph

Canadian hot shot signs on to give Giants extra firepower

 

By Stuart McKinley

Adam Keefe has added major firepower to his Belfast Giants squad by signing former Austrian League championship winner Dustin Johner. And the Giants now know that the 34-year-old Canadian will make his competitive debut for the club against the Dundee Stars in the Challenge Cup on Saturday, September 2.

A consistent goalscorer throughout his career, Johner joins from the Austrian League after spending the last two seasons with Villacher SV, where he contributed 33 goals and 45 assists in 199 games.

His statistics and the feedback he received when checking Johner out are what led Keefe to make the Canadian the fourth new signing of the summer, with nine names on the roster in total.

"Johner is one of those guys that no matter who you speak to about him, they have nothing but positive things to say - as a player, person and a teammate," said Keefe.

"We are really excited to add a player of Dustin's pedigree to the Belfast Giants. He's another new signing that will leave it all out on the ice for this city."

Johner was drafted by the Florida Panthers in 2001 but never played in the NHL.

Instead, he made his way through the East Coast and American Hockey Leagues before spending the last 10 seasons in Europe.

He has played in Switzerland, Finland, Germany and Sweden as well as two different spells in Austria.

Keefe will now focus on getting his team prepared for the season opener against the Stars on September 2, before a trip to the Fife Flyers the following night. The Edinburgh Capitals make up the four-team Challenge Cup group.

The Elite League season will start the following weekend, with the fixtures due to be announced today. It will consist of 56 games, four more than last season following the addition of the Guildford Flames and Milton Keynes Lightning to the Elite League.

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