The team that will represent Milton Keynes in their debut Elite League season continues to take shape with the addition announced today of Team GB forward Jonathan Boxill from Belfast Giants.
The Berkshire-born centreman, 28, will arrive with the Smith Recycling-backed Lightning having made more than a dozen
senior appearances for his country – meaning his abilities are already well known to Lightning and GB Head Coach, Pete Russell.
Jonathan learned the game as part of the Swindon hockey organisation, where he remained until he was 16 before moving to the United States. There he continued his schooling, competing with Northwood School near Lake Placid. In the same period he earned selection for Great Britain at U18 level in two consecutive seasons – in the first year as part of the team winning gold at the World Junior Championships.
2009 saw a move to New England College for four seasons where he further polished his skills in the NCAA. In his final season there Jon was second from top points scorer for the team.
Jonathan returned to the UK in 2013 having put pen to paper on a contract with the Elite League’s Nottingham Panthers. During his first season he helped Panthers win the EIHL Cup; in his second season, the Panthers topped the Earhardt Conference and earned his first senior call up for Great Britain, earning a silver medal at the World Championships in Holland.
In 2015 came the switch to Belfast Giants and another chance to play for his country, helping the national team to another silver medal.
Now, Jon’s career takes another step as he joins one of the Elite League’s new entrants, tasked with helping the ambitious Lightning organisation make an impression.
“I’m extremely excited to be joining the Lightning,” he said. “To be part of the club in their first year in the Elite League is a huge privilege and I’m looking forward to being part of the club’s rich tradition of winning. I have heard great things about the rink, the fan base and the town so I’m very much looking forward to getting there in August and being a big part of the team going forward.”
Coach Russell, already familiar with Jon Boxill’s skill set from his GB appearances, commented:
“I’m delighted to be able to add this forward to our line up for the season ahead. He’s an experienced player and a national team player who brings complete depth to our line up. He skates well, has a decent skill set, strong game sense and leaves everything on the ice.
“Boxy is an energy player who takes complete pride in his defensive game and is a great shut-down guy. He can play anywhere across the front three positions and knows his role. He is a gritty player – you could even say annoying – but that is because of his workrate and desire. Another big part of Boxy’s game is the penalty kill: he is strong in this area which will make us stronger as a team. He excels in this area and it’s so important to us.
“He had a tough season with injuries and didn’t really get going which hurt him as he’s a passionate guy. But he will learn from that experience and he cannot wait to get going with us here at the Lightning.”
Jonathan Boxill’s home, away and warm up jerseys are now available for sponsorship on our Own & Loan Scheme on a first come, first served basis – the cost is £200 per home or away shirt and £150 for warm up. Email your application and any questions to email@example.com