Canadian centreman Tyler Soy returns to the Giants following a 34-point debut season in 2021/22 (15 goals, 19 assists, 64 games played), posting a +15 rating on the way to clinching the Premier Sports Elite League and Challenge Cup titles.
New arrival David Gilbert, a 31-year-old forward who can play across the line joins the Giants from a high scoring season in France which earned him the Ligue Manus most goals award. His CV boasts 54 AHL games and 199 ECHL games, before his move into Europe.
31-year-old right winger, Darik Angeli, arrives in Belfast to make his teal debut fresh off an ECHL Kelly Cup victory with the Florida Everblades, having moved for the tail end of last season in a trade deal; the result of a high scoring campaign with the Kansas City Mavericks which saw him tied fifth in the ECHL for total points and third overall for goals scored.
Commenting on the triple signing, head coach Adam Keefe said: Commenting on the triple signing, head coach Adam Keefe said: “We are very happy to get Tyler Soy re-signed in Belfast this season. He brings a dynamic skill set to the team, and gives his all on the ice every time. A true team player and one of the nicest kids I’ve worked with. He scored some very important goals for us last year that helped bring us two trophies.
“Darik Angeli is 6’3” and he will add welcome size to our forward group. He skates well, has good vision and will be an offensive threat for us next season. He isn’t shy to use his big frame to get the job done as well. I think the Giants fan base will enjoy watching Darik.
“It’s safe to say that new signing David Gilbert is well-travelled in his hockey experience, having iced in an impressive suite of leagues across Canada, U.S, Czech Republic, France, and Hungary. This will be invaluable to our team, especially as we face some strong European sides this season. David has a dangerous shot that will give goalies a lot of problems this season. He can play on both sides of the puck and will be a reliable forward for us this season, offensively and defensively.
“I’m pleased with the roster we’ve built so far, as the start of the season approaches. I truly believe this group of players will do special things and honour the success we built last season. A mix of returning, and new players, with a range of skills and experiences will make for a winning combination on (and off) the ice in Belfast for 2022/23.”
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
TYLER SOY | CLOVERDALE, BC, CANADA | #71
Tyler Soy’s ability was evident from a very early age. Captaining his hometown Cloverdale Colts of British Columbia’s Pacific Coast Bantam Hockey League in 2011/12 at age 15, he posted an incredible 207 points in just 58 games played.
Soy established himself at the junior level in the WHL, where a consistently high points production with the Victoria Royals earned him a transfer to the AHL’s San Diego Gulls in 2016/17. Appearing for the Royals across six seasons and wearing an ‘A’ for three, Soy tallied 151 goals and 176 assists (327 total points) in 323 games played, smashing franchise records for goals, assists, points, and games played.
A 7th round NHL draftee with the Anaheim Ducks two years prior, Soy began the 2018/19 season with the ECHL’s Tulsa Oilers, notching 14 points in 19 games before opting for college and a move to U-Sports side the University of Alberta. Sharing a locker room with new Belfast Giant Chad Butcher, Soy put up 26 points (18 goals, 8 assists) in 32 games for the Golden Bears before the pandemic halted college hockey in Canada during 2020/21.
Soy is also a 3-time medal winner in the Canadian international program, playing at U17 and U18 levels whilst in the WHL.
Commenting on his return to Teal, Soy said: “I’m super excited to return to Belfast. Last year, we had an incredible season – the group of guys was amazing, the city was amazing, everything about it was unreal. It made a lot of sense for me to come back to do it all again...
“Last year was a pretty successful run, winning two out of three trophies. This time, we want to make the treble happen and win all three.”
DAVID GILBERT | CHÂTEAUGUAY, QC, CANADA | #67
Quebecoise Forward David Gilbert progressed through the ranks in his home province in Canada, transitioning from the QMAAA developmental league into the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Appearing for the Quebec Ramparts and Acadie-Bathurst Titan between 2008 and 2011, he posted 156 points (70 goals, 86 assists) in 209 games played.
Whilst at the Major Junior level, Gilbert also had his first taste of life in the AHL- recording an assist in his Rockford Icehogs debut in 2010. He would go on to feature for the Ice Hogs 54 times over the following four years.
Gilbert also made his presence felt in the ECHL, icing for the Toledo Walleye (2012, 2013/14), Wheeling Nailers (2014/15) and Kalamazoo Wings (2015/16) for a total of 127 points in 199 games. In 2012/13, he joined the Bloomington Blaze of the now-defunct Central Hockey League, scoring 21 goals and 19 assists (40 points) in 49 games.
Following a move into Europe, a high scoring season with Bordeaux in France during 2016/17 (54 points in 42 games), and a season with EBEL’s Fehervar AV19 led Gilbert to the Czech Republic, where he spent 3 seasons with HC Motor Ceske Budejovice and recorded 93 points in 130 games.
Speaking of his experience on the ice, Gilbert said: “Earlier in my career, I played centre a lot as I was responsible defensively and I was good on face off. Then, during my first year in Europe when I was playing in Bordeaux, the coach decided to put me on wing, and I saw my production offensively going up and I’ve played there ever since.
“My strengths lie in my offensive skills, my shot, finding gaps in front of the opponent's net, and ability to score goals. I had a pretty good season last year at Rouen in terms of performance, so I'm going into this season in Belfast with the same mindset and I can’t wait to get started.”
DARIK ANGELI | LAKEWOOD, CO, USA | #88
Hailing from Lakewood, Colorado, Angeli spent his junior career in the USHL split between the Sioux City Musketeers, Chicago Steel and Tri-City Storm before opting for college.
Angeli iced 128 times for NCAA D1 Ohio State University between 2011 and 2015, collecting 45 total points and narrowly missing out on winning the inaugural Big Ten Championship in 2013/14 as the team fell to the Wisconsin Badgers in overtime.
An ECHL veteran, Angeli has featured for the Manchester Monarchs, Colorado Eagles, Norfolk Admirals, Tulsa Oilers, Orlando Solar Bears, Rapid City Rush, Cincinnati Cyclones, Florida Everblades and Kansas City Mavericks.
Prior to a trade deal which saw him join the Florida Everblades for an eventual Kelly Cup Championship run, Angeli’s two seasons as an Alternate Captain in Kansas City were defined by points on the board. In 2020/21, he tallied 18 goals and 33 assists (51 points) in 61 games played, before a breakout year in 2021/22 where he lit the lamp 28 times and added 37 assists for 65 total points in 56 games played and a plus/minus of +15.
Speaking of his plans for the season, Angeli said: “’I believe I’m a big, fast, skilled forward. I think I’m a good locker room guy and I can bring a lot of tools to the game to help us win this season... I was speaking to Adam (Keefe) for a while, and how he spoke about the Giants hit all the boxes – especially the fans, and the Championship wins last year. I want to keep that winning tradition going and competing in the CHL (Champions Hockey League) influenced my decision too.”