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Walser is planning for next season after signing up nine Belfast Giants aces

By Stuart McKinley

Published 10/05/2016

Belfast Giants player-coach Derrick Walser
Belfast Giants player-coach Derrick Walser

Brandon Benedict has been handed a new playing contract with the Belfast Giants.

He is among a number of signings announced by player-coach Derrick Walser, who has filled half his roster places in one fell swoop with nine players signed.

The Canadian forward returned to the club last summer to take up an office job, after spending four seasons with the Nottingham Panthers.

The intention was for the 33-year-old to provide injury cover while working in an off-ice role, but he ended up playing 54 games - the most in his Elite League career.

Benedict also scored 11 goals and he is expected to play just as big a role in the new season.

Also confirmed as coming back is veteran forward James Desmarais. The 37-year-old joined the Giants a year ago when offered a university place as part of the deal and he will see out the second year of that programme.

After Craig Peacock's departure for Braehead Clan, Walser has tied down British pair Mark Garside and Jonathan Boxill to new deals. Giants fans will also be pleased to see Michael Forney, David Rutherford and Matt Nickerson return for the 2016-17 season, alongside captain Adam Keefe and Walser himself.

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