Date:  Source: Elite Ice Hockey League

Sheffield Steelers head coach Paul Thompson is expecting newly-signed defenceman Josh McFadden to play a key role for the club.

The 27-year-old is the latest player to commit to the club for the new season after arriving from the University of Guelph, where he’s spent the last two campaigns.

And Thompson has high hopes for his latest arrival as he plots a title challenge in 2018/19.

“We’ve signed an experienced campaigner,” he said. “He has good size and is in great shape and we’ve done a lot of work on him as a player.

“We love some of the plays he is able to make and I expect him to be a big part of the club.  I’m also looking to him to log good minutes and certainly contribute on the powerplay.

“Josh is still only 27 and has a great major junior career behind him with Sudbury Wolves where he was captain and the club’s top scoring defenceman.

“After that he went back to school where he was an all-star player with the University of Guelph. 

“On and off the ice we believe we’re getting a quality person and a player with a very high hockey IQ.  We believe we’ve signed a very good player and are excited to see him in August”.

McFadden is resuming his professional career after three years away, after taking a year out in 2015/16.

Prior to that, he spent three years split between San Antonio Rampage in the AHL and ECHL side Cincinnati Cyclones.

Now he’s excited to be coming to the UK and revealed Thompson’s honesty was a persuasive factor in his decision to sign for the Steelers.

McFadden said: “Paul Thompson was straight, and upfront with me from the beginning and I found him approachable and honest. 

“He told me about the club, the city and, of course, the fans. My own research had given me the same answers and the fit just seemed right.

“I’d played pro before university and I wanted to get back to that pro hockey life. I knew that would mean Europe and I was open minded where the opportunities came from. 

“Sheffield made the contact and I did my homework as I am sure they did on me and the deal was done.

“I’d like to be a big part of the Steelers side and I’m excited at the prospect.  I can’t wait to arrive in August.”