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Baum is back with Belfast Giants for 2022/23 season

The Stena Line Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the return of Texan defenseman, Jeff Baum, for a second season in Teal.

The 25-year-old native of Colleyville, Texas was a first-year pro out of college when he arrived in Belfast ahead of the 2021-22 season and was ultimately instrumental in the Belfast Giants’ EIHL League and Challenge Cup double success.

The raw talent which caught the eye of head coach Adam Keefe and head of hockey operations Steve Thornton was honed and refined throughout an action-packed schedule, as Baum relished the opportunity to play alongside veteran EIHL defender Mark Garside.

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Baum also made his presence felt on the Giants power play unit as the season progressed and was lauded for his consistent and reliable work on the blue line; earning him the Unsung Hero Award at the 2022 Belfast Giants Awards back in May.

Belfast Giants' Jeff Baum celebrates winning the Challenge Cup last season. Picture: William Cherry/Presseye

Commenting on the news, Adam Keefe, head coach of the Belfast Giants said: “It’s great to see Jeff return to Belfast for a second season in 2022/23.

“He has developed his game immensely throughout his first pro year and has established a strong defensive presence across the blue line.

“This re-signing makes for another all-important piece of the puzzle coming together, as we head into the EIHL 2022/23 season, as well as the CHL competition.”

Speaking of his return from Texas, Jeff Baum said: “I’m very excited to be coming back to Belfast and getting back to work.

“Last season we had a lot of success on and off the ice, it was great to be a part of a community that truly cares about what we do.

“We had an incredible experience last year with the fans, it was an awesome feeling to be welcomed by everyone right away, and to see fans rocking their cowboy hats in the stands.”

The Belfast Giants have so far announced the resigning of 2021/22 Giants, Ciaran Long and Ben Lake, as well as the return of head coach Adam Keefe.

Further signings are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Season tickets for the 2022/23 season are on sale now.

Meanwhile, yesterday it was announced that tickets for the Friendship Four tournament will go on sale this Friday 17 June.

The high-profile four-game tournament returns to The SSE Arena, Belfast this November, and is the first and only National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) hockey tournament to take place outside of the United States.

Baum skated for the Providence College Friars at the 2017 Friendship Four tournament in Belfast.

Speaking of his experience of the tournament, he said: “It’s a great experience for college players, to have the opportunity to see a new part of the world while playing hockey.

“College hockey is a very fast-paced, physical and quick game that most people love to watch.

“A lot of players come out of the Friendship Four tournament to move onto bigger and better things, and some of us even get lucky enough to come back to Belfast to play for the Giants.”

Four top US college hockey teams – Umass Lowell River Hawks, Massachusetts Hockey (UMass), Quinnipiac Bobcats and Dartmouth Big Green – will come together to compete for the coveted Belpot trophy over Thanksgiving weekend on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 November 2022.

Tickets go on sale this Friday 17 June at 5pm via Ticketmaster.ie.