The Stena Line Belfast Giants have announced the return of Kevin Raine for the 2018/19 season.
The 25-year-old defenceman returns to the Giants blueline after helping the organisation to the 2017/18 Challenge Cup title.
The Canadian defenceman became the 183rd player to play for the Giants when he arrived in 2017 from the ECHL’s Florida Everblades.
Raine, who will reclaim the No.22 jersey he wore 58 times last season, posted one goal and 12 assists including one on Matt Towe’s game winning goal in the Challenge Cup final.
Previously, the 6’1” defenceman won an OHL championship in 2011/12 with the London Knights and also captained Sudbury in 2013/14. Raine made his professional debut in 2013/14 with the AHL’s Portland Pirates before being invited to the 2014 NHL rookie camp and training camp of the Los Angeles Kings.
Kevin’s solid play earned him a spot with the Kings organisation on the roster of their AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs. In his first professional season, he won the Calder Cup with the Monarchs.
In 2015/16, the 207-pound defenceman signed with the Ontario Reign before splitting 2016/17 with the Charlotte Checkers and the Florida Everblades.
Head Coach Adam Keefe said: “When I learned Kevin was available to bring in, it was an easy decision to make. We know what to expect from him - he skates very well, is solid defensively and will compete every night for the Giants.”
Raine said he was relishing the chance to play for the Giants again.
“I am excited to be back in Belfast and very thankful the Giants maintained their interest. It is great to be rejoining somewhere familiar and return to a city that I love.
“There are quite a few familiar faces still in the Giants locker room and I have nothing but good things to say about those guys. Hopefully I will be back on the ice this week and I am excited to dive right back in.”