Belfast Giants add Hutchinson and LeBlanc to roster

James Hutchinson
James Hutchinson is added Giants roster for next season

The Belfast Giants have signed British defenceman James Hutchinson and Canadian centre Derek LeBlanc.

Hutchinson arrives at the Odyssey after a successful year, playing 53 games with the Peterborough Phantoms in the English Premier Ice Hockey League.

The Tynemouth player has represented Great Britain several times.

LeBlanc joins from the Central Hockey League's Rapid City Rush, where he became a huge fan favourite, scoring 70 times over the past three seasons.

He was part of the CHL Championship winning season for the Rush in 2009/10, scoring another 9 times on their journey to the play-off title.

Hutchinson notched up an impressive 44 points with the Phantoms, including 6 goals and 38 assists.

"We are expecting him to provide depth and energy to our team," said Giants coach Doug Christiansen.

"He's looking forward to improving and realizing his potential next season with the Giants.

"We needed to add another British player and James is a defenceman who has proven himself at Elite League level in the past and has excelled at the level just below."

The Tynemouth player has represented Great Britain on the world stage several times.