Giants Sign Pair to Complete Defence

Signings | Thursday 10 July 2008 by

It is early July, but already the Giants have their defensive unit in place and contracts out to enough guys to almost complete a roster if they are signed. It is changed times in Belfast and gone are the day of scrambling at the last minute to put together a team. New coach Steve Thornton continues to impress us fans in the off-season with top end signings, the latest of which are a paid of defencemen, Mike Burgoyne and Tyler Howells.

Opting to go with a 5 man defensive unit this season, Thornton brings in Burgoyne and Howells to go along with Johnson, Phillips and Walton on the blueline. Both players will bring a scoring touch to the Giants back end as well as careers littered with honors.

Burgoyne, 29,  joins the Giants from Oklahoma City Blazers while Howells, 24, and one year into his professional hockey career, comes from the Helibronn Falcons in Germany. The Giants definitely appear to have picked two players with plenty to offer on their debut’s in the Elite League.

Howells starred for the Michigan State Spartans for four seasons where he won the CCHA League Championship in his third year and the National Championship during his final season at University. He was an Assistant Captain for the National Championship team and was selected to both the NCAA Regional and NCAA National “All-Tournament” Teams.

Joining Howells on the blueline next season will be Mike Burgoyne, a Central League All-Star who has set the league on fire over the last two seasons in Oklahoma City. At 6’2″ and nearly 15 stone, he is an imposing figure on the blueline but it’s his offensive skill that has garnered the most attention around the league.

I am definately excited about the offensive punch they will give the Giants from defence. Both appear to be solid in their own zone but able to jump into the rush when necessary. It all points towards yet another offensively minded Giants team, something the Giants have been known for producing over the last number of years.

Bringing in a lot of new faces to the Giants team this year definitely marks a changing of the guard and a new era in Giants hockey.

 

Coors Belfast Giants Complete Their Defensive Unit … [BelfastGiants.com]

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