During the off-season, Roach has remained in Belfast to undergo surgery and rehabilitation following an injury; the 30-year-old will start this season on the Giants’ injury reserve and will be an integral part of the squad when cleared to return to action. He is an important person to have in the room, and his impact on the teams’ winning performance spoke volumes last season.
Hailing from Saskatoon, Canada, Josh Roach first joined the Belfast Giants’ roster in 2018/19 before going on to play with the Black Wings Linz in the Austrian ICE Hockey League (ICEHL) and Kenaston Blizzards in the Saskatchewan Valley Hockey League (SVHL). He returned to the land of the Giants midway through the 2022/23 season to contribute as a solid defenceman in a historical treble-winning campaign for the men in teal, posting 2 goals and 16 assists in 25 Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) games.
Commenting on the latest signing confirmed to join the 2023/24 roster, Belfast Giants head coach Adam Keefe said: “We couldn't be more thrilled to have Roachy back on board for the upcoming season. He’s an extremely versatile player who is reliable on the blue line for us, and equally he doesn’t shy away from bringing the puck forward, too.
“We will support Josh through his recovery back to full strength, to enable him to get onto the ice to do what he does best. His dedication to the game is evident in every shift during play, and his attitude and presence both on and off the ice brings a winning mentality to our team.”
A testament to his commitment, Roach boasts a glittering collection of accolades in his ice hockey journey to date. To include among other highlights; his naming in the EIHL All-Star First Team in 2018/19 with the Belfast Giants, as well as winning both a double championship in 2018/19 and a most recent treble trophy hoist with the men in teal in 2022/23.
Commenting on his return to Belfast, Josh Roach said: “To have the opportunity to return to the Giants is incredible. Between the fans, the organisation, the guys who play there, the coaching staff – it's a great all-round experience, and one that has helped me to grow as a player and person.
“I’m ready to build back stronger than ever following an injury toward the end of last season and defend that treble that we worked so hard for in 2022/23. See you at the arena, Teal Army!”
Fixture dates for the Belfast Giants’ 2023/24 CHL (Champions Hockey League) campaign have now been released and are available to view here. 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.