Former Steelers skipper Rob Wilson says the feisty nature of new signing Levi Nelson will endear him to Sheffield fans - but make him extremely unpopular with opponents.
Arena supporters love instigators in the mould of characters like Jason Hewitt, Tyler Michel and Ryan Finnerty.
Nelson - who has come back from a horrific injury last year - could be just as irritating for rival clubs, says Wilson.
“I think the Steelers fans will love Levi” said Wilson.
“And I think the Nottingham Panthers’ fans will hate him and the Panthers’ players will probably chase him around the ice all night!
“Levi is a real competitor, he gets under opposition players’ skin, that’s for sure. He is a great agitator but he can also play and he can score as his numbers show.
“He gives 110% every shift, there will be times when he is lying on top of the opponents’ goalie, he competes in the corners, jams the puck in at the side of the net. He has a great net presence on the Power Play as well. He is a character for sure, a ‘cheeper.’
“I’d say he was a very effective player, there isn’t anything pretty about Levi other than his wife – but he gets the job done and he does whatever he has to do to get the job done. He will take a hit, take a whack but just keep getting up, keep battling and force his way to the front of the net to score. He is perfect for Sheffield.”
Nelson scored 23 goals and 63 points in 60 games for Wilson when with his Ritten side in Italy in 2013/14 – “we won the league and cup double and he was an important player for me” added the former Sheffield defenceman.
Playing for Idaho Steelheads, last November, Nelson suffered a terrible injury during a routine check along the boards.
“I ended up getting stepped on by a skate and cut my Achilles 100 per cent and two other tendons 50 per cent.
“When I first met with the doctor, they weren’t too sure I would ever play hockey again.” In fact, he was back in time to compete in the Play Offs.