Title winner Connolly brings versaility to the Giants
Belfast Giants coach Adam Keefe has added grit and goals to his team after securing the signing of Canadian forward Brendan Connolly. And the 31-year-old doesn't just have an Irish sounding name, Connolly will be coming back to his roots when he arrives at the SSE Arena as his father was born in Newry, Co Down.
Connolly comes with the kind of championship-winning credentials that new coach Keefe has been looking for, having helped Rungstead to the title in Denmark last season.
"In Brendan the Giants are getting a real exciting player to watch," said Keefe. "He is a fierce competitor who will be a thorn in the side of everyone he plays against.
"He is fast, highly skilled and can play wing or centre which will help us have some versatility throughout the line-up."
Connolly's scoring prowess saw him finish in the top five of the Danish League's standings last season, with 20 goals and 28 assists in 42 games. He was also the league's most penalised player, serving 187 penalty minutes.
Before moving to Denmark, he was assistant captain of the Alaska Aces when they won the East Coast Hockey League's Kelly Cup in 2014 and then had spells in Austria, where he played with Fehervar alongside current Giants defenceman Ryan Martinelli and German
Another familiar face to Connely on the Giants roster will be forward Blair Riley.
The pair played together in their university days at Ferris State in Michigan and along with Martinelli played a big part in persuading Connolly to come to Belfast.