Belfast Telegraph

Riley aiming to flourish after signing for the Giants

By Stuart McKinley

Belfast Giants coach Derrick Walser has turned up the heat on his Elite League rivals by snapping up Canadian forward Blair Riley.

The 30-year-old, who has spent the last seven seasons in the American Hockey League, playing for six different clubs, joins the Giants after a year with Stockton Heat - an affiliate club of NHL giants the Calgary Flames.

Riley isn't expected to deliver big numbers in terms of goals, but he will bring a physical presence to the team as the Giants try to better last season's fourth-place finish in the league.

"Belfast seemed like a perfect fit and a great opportunity that I could not pass up," said Riley.

"I am a bigger, physical forward and I like to play a well rounded game.

"I was more of a scorer when I played NCAA and when I transitioned to the pro game, I was more of a 'bottom six' forward and was expected to play more of a physical brand of hockey, which is something that I will never shy away from.

"With the opportunity to play for the Giants, I hope to add a scoring punch also.

"I am looking forward to playing in front of the Belfast fans and I know we are looking forward to putting a good product on the ice for them."

Walser is expected to add two more defencemen and possibly one more forward to his roster before the start of the season.

Belfast Telegraph


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