Adam Keefe has revealed that he is closing in on completing his roster ahead of his debut season as Belfast Giants coach. The club is currently locked in contract negotiations with a forward who will fill the final spot in Keefe's line-up, with the hope that the individual concerned will be in Belfast in enough time to travel with his new team mates for their opening game of the season against the Dundee Stars on Saturday week.
The Giants squad is a week-and-a-half into their pre-season training camp, with two warm-up games against the Manitoba Bisons this Saturday and Sunday.
"After Steve Saviano got in that's us for a little bit until we get our last player in," said Keefe.
"We're still looking and we are in talks with a guy. Hopefully that can get wrapped up within a day or two and we can start the work visa process.
"We need to continue to look because things don't always go your way. We are actively still looking and hopefully that process wraps up soon."
So far Keefe has brought in eight new faces, with a ninth to come to take the squad size up to 20 players ahead of the pursuit on the Elite League title.
There is still an opportunity for a couple of locals to make the step up from the Junior Giants.
Keefe said when he was appointed in May that he wanted to give the team a local identity.
Although Ballymoney-born goaltender Adam Dickson has re-signed for the new season, the Giants haven't had a homegrown player on the ice on a regular basis sine Grame Walton retired four years ago. The hopefuls from the junior programme will get their chance to impress in this weekend's friendly games.
"We'll be looking to get some young guys some ice time," said Keefe.
"Some local guys who have earned it last week and this week and I think that it will be interesting to see how they do in a full competitive game."