Sam Ruopp returns to Giants blue line

The Stena Line Belfast Giants have announced the return of defenceman Sam Ruopp for his second season in Teal.

The Canadian D-man made his debut for the Giants in 2021-22, patrolling the blue line throughout the team’s EIHL League and Challenge Cup winning campaigns.

Ruopp’s physical defensive game is aided by his six-foot four frame, but the 26-year-old also contributed offensively throughout the season, posting 4 goals and 20 assists - good for 24 total points in 66 games played.

Commenting on the news, Adam Keefe, head coach of the Belfast Giants said: “It’s great to see Ruopp return to Belfast Giants.

Belfast Giants' Sam Ruopp celebrates winning the Challenge Cup last season. The Giants have confirmed that Ruopp is to return to Belfast for a second season. Picture: William Cherry/Presseye

“He played a pivotal role on our blue line last year that led us to our double trophy success in 2021-22.

“Alongside Mark Garside and Jeff Baum, Ruopp is another important part of our defensive line-up. He’s a true team player and we’re looking forward to having him back in teal for another season.”

Commenting on the re-signing, Sam Ruopp said: “Last season was incredible. Winning two out of three championships was a great feat for us and something that we are incredibly proud of.

“I chose to come back to Belfast because the city, the team and the people are all top notch. It’s an amazing place to play and I’ve had a wonderful experience there.

“I’d like to do it all again, give back to the fans and further grow my game and I believe Belfast is the place to do it.”

The Giants recently announced the re-signing of three 2021/22 players: Andrew Dickson, Mark Garside and Mark Cooper.

These players join a growing list of names returning to Belfast Giants after their triumph last season: Ciaran Long, Ben Lake, Jeff Baum and David Goodwin, 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.