Clarke signing a big step for Belfast Giants
Doug Christiansen has pulled off his biggest signing of the summer so far by adding a former NHL player to his Elite League title winning Belfast Giants roster.
Noah Clarke is on his way to the Odyssey Arena after spending the last two season’s in Germany’s DEL — regarded as one of the top leagues in Europe.
The 33-year-old Canadian comes to Belfast with a proven pedigree, having played 21 times in the NHL after being drafted by the LA Kings in 1999.
Clarke also has extensive European experience, with stints in Switzerland, Finland and the Czech Republic on his CV prior to his two-season spell in Germany.
And Christiansen is expecting big things of his latest capture once he hits the ice at the Odyssey.
“Noah will be an impact player in our league, no question, and I have very high expectations for him next season,” said Christiansen.
“He is a very talented player who can play centre or wing for us, he skates extremely well and has a great touch around the net.
“I expect him to be an offensive force all season and particularly effective on the powerplay for us.
“Noah is also a player that will help the development of our younger players. Craig Peacock, Matt Towe and Mark Garside will all benefit from his experience and his professionalism.”
Left wing Clarke is the first new import to sign for the Giants this summer and he joins his fellow Canadians Adam Keefe and Darryl Lloyd in Christiansen’s forward line.
The Giants coach has eight more import slots available, but like last season he may bring in an extra non-British or Irish qualified player in order to cover for the inevitable injury problems that will come during the season.
Christiansen also revealed a debt of thanks he owes to one of his ex-players for the work he did in helping to make Clarke a Giant.
“I would like to thank our former player, Richard Seeley, for his assistance in bringing Noah to Belfast,” said Christiansen.
“One of our best resources is our Alumni and Seeley really played a crucial role in us landing Noah Clarke.”
Clarke and his Giants team-mates will know the identity of their opponents for the start of their league title defence when the Elite League fixtures for the new season are announced on Monday.