SHEFFIELD STEELERS head coach Paul Thompson believes he has got the balance “right” after completing his defensive line-up for the 2016-17 season.
This morning sees Swedish defenceman Christoffer Bjorklund unveiled as the South Yorkshire club’s sixth and final D-man, with Thompson hailing the 28-year-old as a calming influence with a “good engine”.
Former Steelers’ favourite Freddie Vestberg - who helped the club to a second successive and fifth Elite League title last season - helped convince Bjorklund the time was right to move to the UK top flight.
“I was looking for a new adventure, a new challenge and after speaking with Paul I decided Sheffield was the perfect place for that adventure to begin,” said Bjorklund.
“I spoke with Freddie Vestberg who played in Sheffield last year and had great feedback.”
Bjorklund admitted the chance to play Champions League Hockey was an added attraction in moving from Allsvenskan team Mora IK to Sheffield.
He described himself as a “solid, two-way defenceman, who can play in all situations.”
As for Thompson, preparing his team for a second successive CHL campaign ahead of the Elite League domestic title defence, he is convinced Bjorklund’s arrival gives him the balance he was seeking in his back line.
“We have signed a very rounded player, a very smart player,” said Thompson.
“I believe he will bring us great calmness on the back end. I like his intelligence and that will help us. I also like the fact that he led the Allsvenskan in minutes played as a defensemen last year. That shows me he has a good engine as well.
I believe he will bring us great calmness on the back end. I like his intelligence and that will help us.Sheffield Steelers’ head coach, Paul Thompson, on new signing Christoffer Bjorklund
“Our D-core is different to last year, but I feel it has the right balance throughout the six members. They all bring different ingredients and their experience will come through and give us the right results.”