The Stena Line Belfast Giants have added Mitch Ganzak to the roster for the 2015/16 season. The 31 year old defenceman stands at 5’11”, hails from Michigan, USA and joins Jeff Mason, Matt Nickerson, Mike Wilson and Derrick Walser on the Giants blueline this season.
Ganzak graduated from Miami University, Ohio in 2008 after four years with the NCAA Division One side and then spent two seasons with the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL. The 2010/11 season was Mitch’s first of five in Europe – signing for Valpellice of Italy, before three seasons with Denmark’s Herning Blue Fox and last season in Austria with Graz 99ers, where he was the top scoring defenceman in his team.
With the Giants going in search of a fifth League title in their history, they will be helped by Ganzak who is no stranger to success having won the NCAA Championship in 2006 with Miami University and was also voted onto the Second All-Star team in the same year. Ganzak was also a Second All-Star in 2008/09 with Miami and in 2009/10 with the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers. The American was a Danish Champion and a two-time Danish Cup winner during his three year spell with Herning Blue Fox while also posting the league’s highest number of assists by a defenceman in 2012/13 & 2013/14 as well as the league’s highest number of points by a defenceman in 2013/14.
Steve Thornton, Head of Hockey Operations on the signing of Mitch Ganzak:
“The reputation that he has, the message kept coming back about how hard he competes and I think that’s what we need. He’s been an East Coast all-star, NCAA all-star and an all-star d-man in Denmark where he led all the d-men in scoring. He had another great year in Austria last season – a league that has a great reputation. I think that he’ll come in and be a fan favourite.”