Nottingham Panthers have announced the signing of a highly-rated American netminder in their second swift piece of transfer activity in the space of a few days.
Peyton Jones was revealed as the Panthers’ latest recruit in a statement that followed up on the signing of Swedish defenceman Albin Lindgren last week.
26-year-old Jones arrives from the Belfast Giants, who are sat one place above the Panthers in fifth in the EIHL.
He has 17 appearances for the Giants this season but was allowed to leave after the arrival of Tyler Beskorowany, who made his debut against the Panthers in a 4-3 defeat on Saturday.
Pennsylvania native Jones spent four years as the regular netminder for Penn State University before signing for the Utah Grizzlies, where he boasted a .904 save percentage in the 2021-22 season.
He has an impressive .902 save percentage for the Giants this season too, having recovered from a shaky start with a 2.31 goals-against average and three shutouts.
With the incumbent between the Panthers posts, Alex Dubeau, in mixed form this season, Jones is expected to rival the Canadian for a starting position in the weeks ahead.
Head Coach, Corey Neilson, told panthers.co.uk: “Peyton is a quality netminder and one we are thrilled to be able to add to our roster.
The Stena Line Belfast Giants can confirm the departure of netminder #33, Peyton Jones.
We wish him all the best, and thank him for his time here as a Belfast Giant. pic.twitter.com/vg8FcjwNrG
— Belfast Giants (@BelfastGiants) January 15, 2023
“Peyton already has some top-class experience in the AHL [American Hockey League] so, despite only being 26, has played in one of the top leagues in the world.
“He will help us down the stretch and into the playoffs for sure.”
The announcement of Jones also spells the end of Jack Berry’s time with the club after just 15 games.
The netminder, also 26 years of age, was recruited by previous head coach Gary Graham prior to the season but failed to edge out Dubeau for a regular starting spot.
He achieved seven wins during his time but was in place during a miserable run of results between November and December, conceding 23 goals in his last five games.
The Panthers thanked Berry for his contribution as he entered free agency.
Meanwhile, the Panthers strengthened their defence recently with the addition of 27-year-old Albin Lindgren, who most recently represented Sterjnen Hockey in the Norwegian Eliteserien.
Lindgren has previously played in the AlpsHL with Italian side Fassa Falcons, as well as the Swedish and Danish top-flights with VIK Vasteras and Odense Bulldogs respectively.
Neilson said: “Albin is a fast-skating puck-moving defenceman.
Big signing in the @EliteIceHockey 🏴
Congrats Albin Lindgren🇸🇪by signing contract in @PanthersIHC Hope your flight over yesterday was good and all the best for todays start up with your new team🏒
Go for it Albin!💪🏼#2hockey https://t.co/Ym4wR4TRSa
— HockeyConsulting (@AntonBorvik) January 12, 2023
“He has a great shot and he’s a guy we feel can really help with our transition game that has been lacking.
“He’s an excellent addition to the roster and will certainly make our team better.”
Lindgren is scheduled to be available to make his debut against the Glasgow Clan when the Panthers travel up on Friday, 20 January, while Jones’ availability is yet to be announced.