No stranger to the EIHL (Elite Ice Hockey League) or in fact The SSE Arena, Belfast; Barriga will pull on a Belfast Giants jersey for the first time, having spent last season across the water in Scotland with EIHL opponents Dundee Stars – during which the 27-year-old made a strong impression on the ice; posting 30 goals and 35 assists in 62 games – good for 65 points in all competitions.
Prior to venturing into pro-hockey in the UK with the Dundee Stars, California-born Barriga skated with NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Division 1 team American International College. In four years with the ‘Yellow Jackets’ he won seven championships and totalled 62 points in 107 appearances on the ice.
Speaking of his signing with the Stena Line Belfast Giants, Elijiah Barriga said: “I’m really looking forward to what’s in store this season in Belfast. The Giants, their whole ethos, and their reputation speak for themselves; that is an organisation I want to be a part of.
“The Giants qualifying for the Champions Hockey League (CHL) this season was a big draw for me, European Hockey is a different level – and to have the chance to travel and play against top tier teams will be an amazing opportunity. I want to play a part in yet more Giant success in Belfast.”
Belfast Giants’ head coach Adam Keefe commented on his most recent roster addition: “This is a great signing for us. Barriga plays a competitive, passionate, and fast game on the ice – exactly what we are looking for here in our players in Belfast. We know he will make good impacts both on and off the ice and fit in well with the rest of the guys.
“We look forward to welcoming Elijiah to The SSE Arena, Belfast, especially to introduce him as a Belfast Giant to arguably the best fans in the world, the Teal Army.”
Jeff Mason, Belfast Giants’ associate coach said: "Elijah is a quality player and person. He had an excellent first season as a professional, amassing 30 goals in all competitions and finishing top 10 in EIHL scoring. He possesses a great deal of skills and competes hard day in and day out.
“His attitude, work ethic, and character make him a great fit for the culture that has been established in Belfast, and I look forward to the opportunity to work with him again."
Belfast Giants Season Tickets for the 2023/24 season are on sale now. Fixture dates for CHL and domestic EIHL home games will be announced in the coming weeks. Keep an eye on Belfast Giants’ website and social media channels for the latest news and signing announcements.