Dundee-born forward, Craig Garrigan is raring to go in what will be his first competitive match in over a year, after joining up with his new teammates in Nottingham at the Panthers training camp ahead of the EIHL’s Elite Series, which begins this Saturday.

Garrigan took part in the Elite Series Draft on April 4 and was selected in the seventh round by Nottingham’s Director of Hockey Operations, Guillaume Doucet.

The forward has been skating for his hometown club for the past two seasons and will link up with his former teammate and Stars loanee, Jordan Kelsall in Nottingham.

Speaking after his first day of training with the Panthers Elite Series squad, Garrigan said: “After having such a long time out it obviously was going to be tough to get into the swing of things but I’m really happy to be back on the ice and have some hockey on its way.

“The atmosphere with the new teammates is really good we have a great group of guys in the squad.

“There is also boys that I have played with in GB U20s in the past and also Kelsall in Dundee, which has helped.”

Craig continued: “I am really eager to play some hockey now that I am here and have been on the ice, now that things have started.

“It does still feel different because of the circumstances we are in and because we are in a bubble but I am really happy to have hockey back after having a long year out.”

Recalling his feelings on draft day, the 22-year-old shared his experience of what was a new and monumental event in British hockey.

Craig said: “We actually found out about the draft on the day that it had been announced and players that were interested had to put their names down by the end of the week, so it all happened so fast.

“It is a good opportunity because the British league has never had a draft or mini-series like this before.”

“When I got picked by Nottingham, I was over the moon because when we go down with the Stars to play them, it is always exciting”, added Garrigan.

He continued: “I always thought I would like to go to Nottingham and when I scored those two goals (His first and second professional goals against Nottingham in the 2018-2019 season), we had Kelsall in the same team as us and now he is at Nottingham, so we share that same memory together.”

 

Garrigan celebrates scoring his first two professional goals against the Panthers.

 

However, whilst the ex-Monifieth High School pupil focuses on success with the Panthers over the next six weeks, he still has his mind on the future.

Craig explained: “My first thoughts are to come back to the Stars, although you never know what is going to happen but I always want to come back.

“I live here and I have enjoyed my time so far with the Stars.”

Stars fans can catch their hometown hero in action this Saturday evening as Craig makes his Panthers debut against Nottingham’s biggest rivals, Sheffield Steelers (face-off 7pm).

Discussing his derby debut, Garrigan said: “I am looking forward to playing Sheffield in our opening game.

“They were a top team last year and they have brought back their main players, so it will be a tough matchup.

“You always see the great rivalry between Nottingham and Sheffield and to be a part of it is exciting.”

He continued: “I just want to try and play my usual game, be physical and be hard and bring a lot of energy when I am on the ice.

“Hopefully, I learn a lot because I am going to be in a team with quality imports and high-end Brits, so I hope I can learn some things from training and playing alongside them.

“Even having different coaches for this Elite Series, I am hoping to bring something back for the next regular season.”

 

Stars’ Craig Garrigan tussles with Coventry Blaze’s Charles Corcoran.
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Dundee Stars Team
48 Games
18 Wins
27 Losses
3 OT Losses
39 Points