If Steelers don’t have the best defence in the Elite League next year, at least they’ll have the most educated.
Today the club announced the signing of Canadian Dustin Kohn – wooed to the club on a two year deal on the back of a degree course sponsored by the University of Sheffield. The 26-year-old, who has been courted by Belfast Giants and an Italian outfit will take the place of Rod Sarich, who had been the longest serving player in the line up.
Coach Doug Christiansen explained: “Kohn will join Gord Baldwin and Frank Doyle at the University’s Management School. It could be argued that that Steelers defence is brought to the House of Steel by the University. Drew Fata, Baldwin, Kohn and Doyle will all be there together.”
Christiansen believes an “excellent defensive core” will now underpin their attempts to dislodge Nottingham Panthers as champions.
Kohn, 6ft 1ins, played 22 games in the NHL for the New York Islanders in 2010. His CV includes 222 American League games, along with periods in Sweden and the Czech Republic. Earlier in his career, he played forward.
Christiansen added: “He can do a bit of everything. He can put up points on the power play, be a shut down D and be a great penalty killer. I am sure that he will be a phenomenal Steeler.”
His impending arrival will complete Steelers’ defence core as Kohn joins goalies Doyle and Geoff Woolhouse and fellow defencemen Fata, Chad Langlais, Danny Meyers, Mark Thomas and Baldwin.
Steelers’ fans will make their own minds up on Kohn, who drew this mixed assessment from one hockey website in north America: “Skilled player, good skater, but work ethic has been an issue.”
A Swedish observer commented: Kohn is a two-way defenceman who plays a well-rounded game. He is a very good skater and keeps it safe in his own end. Lacks natural offensive flair, but can make a solid first pass.”
Steelers hope to complete their spending spree with two forwards, this week.