THE Genting Casino Coventry Blaze will welcome back defenceman Nate Halbert for the 2022/23 Elite League season.
Halbert contributed 31 points (seven goals, 24 assists) in 51 regular season games during his debut Elite League campaign and led the team in ice-time (24.43).
The 26-year-old Canadian scored a goal in the playoffs and four points (one goal, three assists) over 10 appearances in the Challenge Cup.
Voted the best defenceman at the end of season awards, Halbert who was born in Nottingham, will be eligible for selection by Team Great Britain following his upcoming second year in the league.
Prior to arriving in the UK, Halbert iced seven games in the AHL with Laval Rocket grabbing one assist.
A graduate of McGill University, Halbert tallied 19 points (three goals, 16 assists) in 68 regular season games and 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in 10 playoff appearances in uSports.
At junior level, Halbert spent three seasons in the QMJHL, two as associate and then Captain of Blainville-Boisbriand Armada before joining the Sherbrooke Phoenix. In the Q, he had 63 points (15 goals, 48 assists).
Head Coach Danny Stewart said: “Getting ‘Halby’ back was a big move for us.
“He’s a clear-cut top pairing guy at this level, and is a great start to re-building our team for next year.
“He is very good at both ends of the ice, plays all situations, plays with grit and was a definite fan favourite last season.
“Our goal is to get a bit quicker, and tougher to play against. He ticks both boxes, and is a big signing for us!”
The Elite League season will begin on the weekend of 9/10/11 September with pre-season fixtures taking place before that.