Brian Ward and Jesse Forsberg Join The Giants For 2019/20.
The Stena Line Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signing of Brian Ward and Jesse Forsberg for the organisation’s 20th anniversary season.
Ward, a 27 year old arrives in Belfast after splitting 2018/19 with the Binghamton Devils and Adirondack Thunder – AHL and ECHL affiliates of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils respectively.
Ward, from Haverhill, Massachusetts in the USA, will wear the #24 jersey when the new season begins with exhibition games next month against Mora IK of Sweden and Denmark’s Herning ahead of the Champions Hockey League campaign.
The centreman played three seasons at St. Lawrence University 2013-2016 and captained the team during his final year. Ward did not miss a game in his collegiate career, posting 27 goals and 43 assists, good for 70 points in 122 games played while leading St. Lawrence in scoring as a sophomore during the 2014/15 season.
The 6’1” forward has scored 20+ goals in each of his three seasons in the ECHL with the Adirondack Thunder. Ward scored 27 regular season goals during 2016/17 and followed that with 30 goals in 2017/18, the highest single-season total in Adirondack’s history.
Ward has iced for five different AHL sides – the Charlotte Checkers, Albany Devils, Utica Comets, Providence Bruins as well as the Binghamton Devils last season.
Ward has added eight goals and six assists in his Kelly Cup playoffs career to bring his ECHL totals to 85 goals and 72 assists, good for 157 points in 184 games played.
Brian Ward spoke with Patrick Smyth, A View From The Bridge, on his arrival in Belfast and said: “I have had a great Summer so far and I am very excited to get to Belfast. The timing was perfect and I felt like this was the right move for me.”
“The Champions League will be an incredible experience and I have heard nothing but great things about the fans, the city and the organisation.”
Giants Sign Jesse Forsberg For 2019/20.
The Stena Line Belfast Giants are also pleased to announce the signing of Jesse Forsberg for the 2019/20 season. The 6’1” defenceman joins the Giants from the University of Saskatchewan where he was a teammate of former players Josh Roach and Kendall McFaull.
Forsberg, from Waldheim, Saskatchewan in Canada, will pull on the #29 jersey and makes his debut in teal at August’s home exhibition games before the Champions Hockey League begins.
Forsberg arrives in Belfast after a stellar season on the Saskatchewan Huskies with the defenceman named to the USports All-Canadian second team as well as the USports (West) First All-Star team – for a second time in his five seasons.
In 2016/17, Forsberg was awarded the prestigious Mervyn Dutton trophy for the USports (West) Most Outstanding Defenceman.
The 25 year old captained the University of Saskatchewan in his final season, finishing with six goals and 15 assists, good for 21 points in 24 games – the second best record among Canada West defencemen.
Jesse Forsberg, talking with Joel Neill, A View From The Bridge said: “Both Adam Keefe and Steve Thornton reached out to me regarding the move to Belfast. Though the biggest selling point for me was Josh Roach and Kendall McFaull – two guys who I have played with in Saskatchewan and admire a lot.
“They said a lot of really good things about the organisation and it would have been difficult to move anywhere else. The Champions League is a great opportunity for me and was a huge factor in making the move.”