Having signed the dotted line on the Elite Ice Hockey League’s deadline day, 26-year-old McLeod will don the #70 jersey. With #71 Tyler Soy and #7 Mark Garside currently on injury reserve, the Giants make the signing as they seek to add the depth required for the home stretch of League and playoffs action.
Having kick-started his ice hockey journey in his native Canada in the Ontario Junior Hockey League with Toronto Lakeshore Patriots and the Oakville Blades – McLeod transitioned to U.S. NCAA college hockey in 2015 with Canisius College. From there, he played in the ECHL from 2019 to present, with Canadian outfit Brampton Beast and his most current side Cincinnati Cyclones. During his time in the ECHL, McLeod also featured a brief stint on loan to the Bakersfield Condors in the AHL.
Speaking of his signing with the Giants, McLeod said: “I’m really excited to get started with the Giants in Belfast. I’ve heard great things about the League, the organisation, the city, and of course the fans, I can’t wait to play in front of the crowds at the Arena.
“The team is having a great season so far. With all eyes on the championship title, I’m excited to bring speed and energy to the team and provide support wherever I can. I’m ready to get to work!”
Commenting on the signing, Adam Keefe, head coach of the Belfast giants said: “It's great to have secured this signing for the rest of the season. It’s tight at the top of the League table right now and every game counts.
Looking ahead, we have important season-defining games coming up and the signing of McLeod will be an important boost and insurance for the team for the remainder of the season – especially with Soy and Garside on injury reserve. He’s a great teammate and a great player who will add speed and energy to the line-up. We’re excited to have him here to help us out.”
Matt McLeod is expected to make his debut in Belfast in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the Stena Line Belfast Giants are set for a busy series of home fixtures at The SSE Arena, Belfast as the trophy race hots up for the latter half of the season. Tickets for upcoming home games are on sale HERE!