Ultimate Windows sponsored Billingham Stars

ULTIMATE WINDOWS-sponsored Billingham Stars have had another busy week announcing their squad for the coming season, with four re-signs and the addition of Canadian centre Kevin Boyd as the roster starts to take shape. Read about new signing Boyd by clicking here, then read on to find out more about the four returnees.

The first defenseman on the roster was 17-year-old James Hellens. Hellens shone in his first season sharing senior duties with both the Under 20s and Under 18s sides, noticeably improving with every game. Never flustered, Hellens has all the attributes necessary to develop into a first-class blue liner and will be looking to log even more senior shifts this coming campaign.

Assistant Captain Cal Davies was a welcome addition to the squad, his being a name that many fans look for first when the team lists are published. One of the best two-way players in the League, Davies' partnership with long-time foil Michael Elder is so well established that one without the other seems unthinkable. Davies never gives less than everything he has, a quality that has endeared him to the Stars faithful and makes him one of the most popular members of the team.

Switching back to defence for the final two announcments of the week, the Stars revealed the return of Tom Keeley. Keeley's season was blighted by injury last time out, a summer of rest should see him come back better than ever. Fans will be hoping to see more of Keeley's slap shot this season, a weapon much missed as Keeley logged just 21 games.

The Stars week finished with the announcement that smooth-skating defenseman Ross Hanlon would also be returning to Billingham. As with Keeley, Hanlon was not able to play for a large part of the last campaign and his presence on he blue line was a big miss. Whilst it is easy to draw attention to Hanlon's skating ability, he also sees the ice very well and as such is an integral part of the Stars back line.

League Stats

Season 2017-2018

All-Time

James Hellens

28 games                             

0 goals                          

3 assists                             

3 points                             

 

Cal Davies

27 games

7 goals

21 assists

28 points

258 games (4th overall)

90 goals

178 assists (5th overall)

268 points (9th overall)

Tom Keeley

19 games

0 goals

4 assists

4 points

84 games

18 goals

19 assists

37 points

Ross Hanlon

15 games

0 goals

3 assists

3 points

180 games

20 goals

30 assists

50 points

Four familiar faces and one new Star - a busy week at Billingham as the season creeps ever closer. Once again this week Anth Lowe of Stars Media Team was kind enough to share his thoughts:

"James Hellens came through from the junior set up last year and played big minutes alongside import Arturs Ozols. Hellens is a dependable stay-at-home D man who reads the game very well and is very rarely out of position, which is a fantastic trait in one so young.
"Cal Davies was one of those that I was waiting with baited breath to hear had signed. As a newlywed there was always the possibility of him taking some time out. Thankfully he hasn't as he is one of the most important players on the team. An excellent playmaker (who should maybe shoot a bit more), Cal is also one of the best two-way players in the League and is equally at home on the powerplay or penalty kill.
"Kevin Boyd is obviously a completely unknown quantity. Kevin comes with what appear to be good playmaking skills from his stats last year in the third tier of Canadian Junior Hockey. Our new coach speaks very highly of Kevin and so I am excited to see what he can bring.
"Tom Keeley had a tough time of it last year with injury derailing much of his season. Despite playing in 19 League games, Tom was clearly not at 100%. His booming shot from the point was missing from his game and we hope to see him back to full fitness.
"Ross Hanlon was another player who missed a large chunk of time last season, but when he did play the speed and ability to read the game was evident. Hopefully a full campaign will show how good Ross really can be."

Stars will continue to post signings as and when they happen on social media, with a round-up of the week’s happenings on the website on Fridays. We expect fixtures to be issued very soon, please keep an eye on our social media channels for all the latest news.