Wednesday 22nd April 2009 – The Belfast Giants are pleased to confirm their first signing for the 2009/10 season, Craig Peacock from the Peterborough Phantoms of the English Premier League (EPL). Last year, Peacock scored 57 goals for the Phantoms, adding 49 assists, good for 106 points. He ended up as the fourth top scorer overall in the league and finished as the top British scorer in the EPL.
Peacock and the Phantoms won the treble this past season in the English Premier League, winning the EPL Cup, the League Championship and the Playoff Title this past season, with Craig scoring two goals and an assist in the final game to lift the Playoff Trophy. Craig was selected to the EPL Second Team All-Star this year after a standout season for the young British star who is still a few months away from his 21st birthday.
Steve Thornton was pleased to get Peacock for next season, despite great interest from other Elite League teams.
“I am very happy to secure Craig for next season, and I believe he has the potential to be a star in the EIHL. It will be a big jump for him next year, but everyone in this League saw the Sheffield Steelers develop Robert Dowd into a legitimate star in the Elite League, and Dowd came from the EPL two seasons ago. We expect Peacock to have a similar impact with the Giants and I believe that he has a bright future here in Belfast.”
Craig Peacock was all smiles after signing with Belfast and is excited about becoming a Giant next season.
“I’m really excited about coming to Belfast and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to move up to the Elite League. I really think I have chosen the right organization to make the jump with. I think Steve Thornton is definitely the right coach to help me move forward in my career.”
Earlier this season, Thornton and General Manager Todd Kelman flew over to see Craig play against the Bracknell Bees and were immediately impressed with him on the ice.
“The more I spoke with him, the more I wanted this kid on our team,” said Thornton , “he has a great attitude, he is looking for an opportunity to play in the Elite League and I believe that he is in line to have a great rookie year with the Giants.”
Kelman added “Peacock has some skills that you just can’t teach, like a quick shot and a great eye for getting to the net. He can put the puck in the net, he did it 57 times this year, and you can’t teach someone to score goals. This is a great signing for the Giants and a superb start to building another Championship team.”
The Peterborough Phantoms were dissapointed to lose their young star, but despite having him under contract for another season, they did not want to hold Craig back from the opportunity to play for the Giants.
Phantoms General Manager Paul Bignell spoke about Peacock and wished him well next season with the Giants.
“Craig has been with our organization since he was 14 years old, and we are sad to see him go, but we would never hold back a player that had this kind of opportunity. Craig is a great person and a great player, he was a big part of our success this year, and we wish him all the best with the Giants next season.”