Belfast Telegraph

New signing Hook is a major coup for Belfast Giants

 

By Stuart McKinley

Belfast Giants coach Adam Keefe has hooked a major new signing after beating off competition from a number of other Elite League clubs to the signature of one of Great Britain's brightest young talents.

Twenty-one-year-old Lewis Hook has joined the Giants after impressing for the Milton Keynes Lightning in their debut season in the Elite League and in Great Britain's World Championship success.

The Peterborough-born winger made the step up from the English Premier League and scored a number of goals in games against the Giants.

At a supporters' event at the SSE Arena, the Giants also announced that goaltender Stephen Murphy will be granted a testimonial as he takes his stay in Belfast to 10 years, while Mark Garside, Colin Shields, Jonathan Ferland and Dustin Johner have also signed up for another year.

After seeing goaltender Jackson Whistle leave for the Sheffield Steelers at the weekend, the signing of a talented British player in Hook was the stand-out news as well as the return of five more members of their Challenge Cup-winning squad.

Former NHL-er Ferland, who scored in the 6-3 victory over the Cardiff Devils in the final, is back for a second season in Belfast after netting 14 goals in 47 Elite League games.

Johner will hope to show more of what he is about after an injury-ravaged season.

Shields, the club's all-time record goalscorer, will play beyond his 39th birthday next January after committing himself for another season - which will be his seventh in a row in Giants colours and 11th in total.

Joining him are Murphy and defenceman Garside.

Both men spent the majority of last season on the injured list with shoulder problems. Murphy did return for the final weeks of the season and Keefe will be happy to have him back to strengthen his goaltending department.

Garside, who will be playing his ninth season with the Giants, wasn't expected to return before the end of the campaign, but he should be back up to full strength after a summer of rehabilitation.

The six signings announced brings the number of confirmed players for the 2018/19 season up to eight after the re-signings of Darcy Murphy and Jim Vandermeer were announced previously.

Belfast Telegraph

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