The Stena Line Belfast Giants are pleased to add Ryan Martinelli to the roster for the 2016/17 Elite League season. Martinelli, a 6’ 5” defenceman, joins the Giants from Székesfehérvár of the Austrian Hockey League and will become the 171st player for the Giants organisation.
The Canadian, whose signing was made possible by our partnership with the Ulster University Business School, will be familiar to many Giants fans having played against the team for the Fischtown Pinguins of Bremerhaven in the 2014/15 Continental Cup.
Following spells with the OHL’s London Knights and the University of Western Ontario, Martinelli moved to Europe to sign for Valpellice of Italy, where he spent two seasons and helped the team to a fifth placed finish and a playoff place in each of those seasons.
The right-handed defenceman moved to Rosenborg of Norway in the 2012/13 seasons, where he wore an ‘A’ for the team before joining the Fischtown Pinguins later that season. In 2013/14, Martinelli helped the Pinguins to a DEL2 championship, finishing as the best side during the regular season before winning their three playoff rounds to claim the title.
2014/15 saw Martinelli and the Pinguins finish second overall in the regular season before defeat in the final round of playoffs ended hopes of a second straight title. Martinelli also played a pivotal part in Bremerhaven’s 2014/15 Continental Cup success with the German side advancing in the Quarter Finals against the Giants as well as the Semi-Finals before finishing second overall in the Super Final.
Ryan Martinelli spoke to Patrick Smyth from A View From The Bridge on joining the Giants:
“I have been in contact with Steve Thornton since the Continental Cup in 2014 when I played against the Giants and he has been keen on having me in Belfast.”
“I am glad we kept in contact over the last couple of years and I finally have decided to make the switch and see what all the fuss is about.”
“I’ve known Mitch Ganzak for a long time, a former teammate of mine in Italy – I trust his opinions and he had nothing but great things to say about what the Giants had to offer.”
Steve Thornton, Giants Head of Hockey Operations, on the signing of Ryan Martinelli:
“Ryan is a big guy, 6’5″ who clears the net really well. He is a winner, who won in Bremerhaven and I think he is a great skater as well. We wanted more size without sacrificing speed so he is the perfect guy for that job.”
“I think the Giants fans will really like Ryan as he is a big guy who plays hard and takes away time & space. He is mean in front of the net and is also a really good player. We are excited to have him.”