Giants snap up two of Canada's rising stars
Belfast Giants coach Adam Keefe has handed first professional contracts to two of Canada's hottest young prospects.
Keefe and Giants Director of Hockey Operations targetted the duo after they came to the fore during impressive university careers.
Josh Roach, a highly-rated 25-year-old forward, has put pen to paper on a deal to bring him to Belfast and he will be joined by his University of Saskatchewan colleague, 26-year-old defenceman Kendall McFaull, when he boards the flight to Belfast in August to prepare for the start of the 2018-19 season in September.
And for McFaull, who was selected by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2010 NHL draft, it will be a step back in time for his family, as his great-grandfather came from Northern Ireland.
"There is a well-known programme in Belfast and it is a great city so it was a good chance to play professional hockey," said McFaull. "I am looking forward to playing with my friend Josh Roach and playing in the country where my great-grandfather came from."
Roach already has a number of individual awards to his name after being selected on the Canadian Universities West First All-Star team, as well as the All-Canadian Second Team for 2017-18.
In addition, he was awarded the CIS West UBC Hockey Alumni Trophy for Sportsmanship and Ability.
As well as his NHL draft pick, McFaull's CV boasts back-to-back West Second All-Star selections, and he was also winner of the Dr. Randy Gregg Award for the CIS 'Outstanding Student Athlete'.
"Steve Thornton reached out, made a good pitch and I was really happy to accept the offer," said Roach.