Prolific forward, Scott Conway and netminder Jackson Whistle make a welcome return. And, following news of Tyler Beskorowany’s retirement earlier today, the Giants have confirmed that netminder Peyton Jones will complete the team’s goalie line-up for 2022/23.
The latest signing news was announced during a special live A View from The Bridge podcast broadcast on Tuesday evening, aptly named ‘Treble Tuesday’.
Much to the delight of the Teal Army following speculation of a move elsewhere, Scott Conway is Belfast Giant once again. The talismanic forward ran roughshod over the Elite Ice Hockey League in 2021/22 on a powerhouse top line alongside JJ Piccinich and Captain David Goodwin, as the Belfast Giants clinched an EIHL League and Challenge Cup double in style.
Conway finished last season with an astonishing record of 100 points in 65 games played, scoring 40 goals, and adding 60 assists. He was named Forward of the Year, joint Top Points Scorer and OSC Player of the Year at the 2021/22 Belfast Giants Awards.
In a supporting role to Tyler Beskorowany last season, Jackson Whistle posted a .917 save percentage and 2.30 goals against average in 15 regular season games played, as the Belfast Giants clinched the EIHL League Championship. He also played a part in the Giants Challenge Cup victory, with a .926 save percentage and 1.82 goals against average across 6 games.
Six-foot four goalie, Peyton Jones, arrives in Belfast after splitting the past two years between the ECHL and AHL in North America. Prior to turning pro, Jones iced for NCAA D1 school Penn State. In his freshman year, Jones played alongside Giants Captain David Goodwin as the Nittany Lions went on to capture a Big 10 Championship and was named Tournament MVP.
His college career ended in 2019-20 with a Big 10 Regular Season Championship, and Jones graduated with Penn State records for all time goaltender in games started/played, minutes played, wins and saves.
Commenting on the triple signing, head coach Adam Keefe said: “The return of Conway and Whistle to Belfast is extremely positive news for the Giants roster, reforming the chemistry in the core that we had built last season.
“A huge contributor to our success last season with 33 goals, Conway will once again be crucial to our top line on the ice. A hit with the fans, he’ll be bringing a fast and skilled approach to his game – he's a competitive guy and I know he’ll come in wanting to improve on last season and challenge for every trophy. His off-season representation in the World Championships with Team GB will have equipped him with additional experience that is invaluable to our game.
“Alongside Andrew Dickson and Jackson Whistle, Peyton Jones will complete our goaltender line-up for this season. Both Whistle and Jones bring an elevated level of goaltending to the table, with invaluable experiences elsewhere. Whistle’s representation on the Team GB squad in the World Championships for the last five years, and Jones’ experience within the NCAA, AHL and ECHL will put us in good stead for the EIHL and the CHL.”
Tickets for the 2022/2023 home Pre-Season, Premier Sports Elite League, Challenge Cup, and CHL home games at The SSE Arena, Belfast are on sale NOW. More information and a full list of fixtures are available here.
MORE ABOUT OUR LATEST SIGNINGS
SCOTT CONWAY | BASINGSTOKE, UK | #10
The son of British Hockey Hall of Famer Kevin Conway, Scott is a duel national originally born in Basingstoke, England who made the move back to North America at age 12 to further his hockey career.
Conway clinched the USHL’s Clark Cup with the Indiana Ice at tier 1 junior level in 2013-14, setting a plus/minus of +40 along with a spot on the first All-Star team.
Following a move to the NCAA D1 Providence College Friars, Conway became the first English born player to play in the Friendship Four, taking to the ice in Belfast for the College Hockey showpiece in 2017 alongside future Giants’ teammate Jeff Baum.
After graduation, Conway joined the AHL’s Providence Bruins for 13 appearances, before a further 84 games in the ECHL split between the Atlanta Gladiators, Orlando Solar Bears and Allen Americans. Whilst playing with the Americans in 2020/21, he shared a locker room with new Giants trio Chad Butcher, Steve Owre and Colby McAuley- as well as returning defenceman Sam Ruopp.
Conway made his senior Team GB debut at the 2019/20 Olympic Qualifiers and was named Player of the Tournament by the GB Supporters Club, after finishing as top scorer. He went on to feature in GB’s IIHF World Championship Campaign this summer, making 7 appearances.
Commenting on his return to Teal, Conway said: “I’m excited to return to Belfast this season. I think we’re going to have a great team this year, and I believe this group can do special things... I’m planning on scoring a lot. Goals aren’t the only thing that contribute to the team’s success, but I’m going to give it my all to contribute in the best way I possibly can.”
JACKSON WHISTLE | KELOWNA, BC, CANADA | #1
Whistle, a duel national originally from Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada is certainly no stranger to Belfast or The SSE Arena. His father Dave was the very first head coach of the Belfast Giants, all the way back in 2000-2003!
It was no surprise that Jackson made the move across the Atlantic in his first-year pro, after a junior career spent mostly with his hometown Kelowna Rockets in the WHL. Whistle helped the Rockets to an Ed Chynoweth Cup in 2014-15, taking his side all the way to overtime in the prestigious Memorial Cup final against the eventual Champions, Oshawa Generals.
After two seasons as a Giant, Whistle spent time with the Sheffield Steelers and Nottingham Panthers between 2018-21, winning the EIHL’s Streaming Series as a Panther during the COVID-19 shutdown whilst being named Best Goaltender, Best SVS%, Best GAA, and an All-Star. But the call of his ‘second home’ proved too strong and Whistle returned to Belfast in 2021-22 to help the Giants to an EIHL League and Cup double.
The EIHL remains a family business to the Whistles - Jackson’s brother Brandon is a centreman for the Sheffield Steelers, and his father Dave joined the Nottingham Panthers as a bench coach last February. Elsewhere, his Uncle Rob played 51 NHL games in the mid to late 1980s for the St Louis Blues and New York Rangers.
Commenting on the announcement, Whistle said: “Obviously I love it here in Belfast. This is my fourth year living here and coming up on my fourth year on the team. When I was speaking to Steve and Adam at the end of the year, with the success we had last season, I wanted to be back, to be a part of it again. I was speaking to other guys on the team who are coming back, and we all had the same mindset: 'ok we just did this last year, it was an amazing feeling, but let’s do it again.’”
PEYTON JONES | LANGHORNE, PENNSYLVANIA, USA | #33
Before Penn State, Peyton Jones manned the crease for the Lincoln Stars of the USHL, with a 25-25-7 overall record and 5 shutouts in 63 games played.
In his freshman season at College, Jones broke the record for single season wins with 23. He followed that in 2017-18 by setting the single season Penn State record for most goalie assists (4). He was named to the Academic All-Big Ten team in his junior year and was an Academic All-Big Ten honouree in his Senior year.
Jones made three appearances for the AHL’s Colorado Eagles after turning pro in 2020-21, before spending the rest of the season with the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies. He began 2021-22 back in Colorado, playing two games before a further 32 game stint with the Grizzlies.
Peyton’s younger brother Nolan Jones made his Major League Baseball debut in July 2022 with the Cleveland Guardians and is a hotly tipped future star.
Speaking of his experience, and his arrival in Belfast, Jones said: “In terms of my experience, I’ve played USHL, NCAA, and AHL and I think that playing at those levels has prepared me well for the challenge this season in Belfast... I’ve heard the Teal Army are amazing, and super loud at every game in a packed Arena. I’m really excited to get started, and to play in that atmosphere.”