Fan favourite Jordan Smotherman returns for second year with Giants
Belfast Giants fans will be delighted with their latest signing as popular forward Jordan Smotherman has agreed to return to the club for the new season.
The 33-year-old is back for a second season in teal after joining the Giants midway through last season and making a major impact on the team on their way to success.
Smotherman scored the overtime winner in the Giants' Challenge Cup final victory over the Guildford Flames and then played a major role in their Elite League title win.
In just 25 games for Belfast, the Oregon native scored 13 goals and 23 points, and was also a popular face with both the fanbase and within the locker room down the stretch.
Having been signed midway through the season, Smotherman instantly became a hit with the Giants fans after his incredible journey to reach the team early to fill in for an injury.
The winger travelled all the way from Iserlohn in Germany to Amsterdam to catch a flight to Belfast, before stepping onto the ice just three hours later to help them defeat the Nottingham Panthers.
That kind of dedication is exactly why the forward was one of the first names re-signed for the new season, with head coach Adam Keefe delighted to capture his signature.
"Jordan is a player we had been tracking for a while and it was great to have him hit the ground running in 2018/19 to contribute to the Elite League and Challenge Cup success," he said.
"He is big forward who will bring offence and work ethic to our 2019/20 team. I know our fans loved hearing about the lengths Jordan went to in order to be in Belfast for his debut and I know they will love watching him in teal again this season."
Coming to Belfast with plenty of experience in both North America and also in Europe, Smotherman will provide a veteran presence in the line-up this season as well.
From Corvallis, OR, the left winger was drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 draft by the Atlanta Thrashers following a strong junior career with the Quebec Remparts.
He would only make three appearances in the NHL with the Thrashers, however, spending most of his time in the AHL with the Chicago Wolves, with whom he won a Calder Cup in 2008.
In 2011, Smotherman made the move to Europe with Danish side EfB Ishockey, before spells in the Swedish Allsvenskan and SHL, Finnish Liiga and then the German DEL following a brief return to the ECHL in America.
The 33-year-old will immediately be pencilled into the Giants' top-six and, after his scoring exploits last season, reckons to have a good chance at starting on the top line next year.
Belfast Telegraph Digital