WHEN it comes to selecting Sheffield Steelers’ player of the season, it will be hard to look further than first-year import Tylor Michel.
The Canadian came with a reputation of being a Ryan Finnerty-clone, mirroring the style his present coach displayed when the pair shared the same ice at Cardiff Devils.
But he has proved to be a surprise package at Sheffield in terms of goals, too. He has bagged 23 so far, the same amount he got for Devils over a full season. And he has a similar amount of assists to his credit, this term.
Finnerty said: “It would be tough to overlook Ty as a player of the season.
“He brings the same qualities every night, he is a leader on and off the ice and has a great work rate. That is why I brought him in.
“I said he would be a fans’ favourite from day one and I think the fans have discovered why he was so loved in Cardiff.”
Finnerty said his bustling style of play meant that his goals output sometimes went unnoticed in the stands: “You just get the best effort every night. Maybe his goals are not always pretty but he is dangerous every time he gains the zone. The guy puts the puck in the net. Numbers don’t lie.”
Finnerty said while no contractual arrangements would be discussed until after the season was over, the club would “love to retain Ty - he would be a key acquisition again for us.” Michel, who played for Swedish club Björklöven last season, could attract interest from Europe again, though.
Meanwhile, Steelers have two league games this weekend, tomorrow at Nottingham Panthers, where they will be trying to delay the League title heading, and Michel’s old club Cardiff, on Sunday.