Sheffield Steelers land Swede Andreas Valdix to complete roster for new season

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Sheffield Steelers have completed their roster for the coming season by signing a third Swedish player.

Coach Paul Thompson went for a forward who had anything but his best season, last year.

But Thompson, having coached against Andreas Valdix, knows what the 31-year-old centre is capable of.

On paper, Valdix’s form took a dip at HC Innsbruck of the Austrian EBEL, (46 games; eight goals and eight assists, a minus 20 ratio.)

But Thompson says: “Don’t be fooled by his point output last year, we have signed a very complete player and centre.

“I waited a long time to get a player who I feel brings the skill set to complete our roster,” said Thompson.

“Andreas is big, a very strong skater and has outstanding vision.

“He has incredible puck possession and passing qualities, he is a perfect fit for us.

“We both did our research over this negotiation period, the more I looked into him, the more I realised he was the man we had been looking for.

“I coached against him in the Allsvenskan so have seen him first-hand, seen what he can do. He has an outstanding two-way game and is a very educated player.

“The wait has been worthwhile,” he said.

The experienced skater joins fellow Swedes Markus Nilsson, Christoffer Bjorklund and assistant coach Jerry Andersson.

Valdix, who was picked in the NHL entry draft by the Washington Capitals (round 4, 109th overall) in 2003 has played the last two seasons with Innsbruck.

Before that, the Swedish national team junior registered 390 Allsvenskan games, mainly as part of the IK Oskarshamn organisation, and a further 117 games in the SHL, on the whole with his native Malmö during a 10 year career in his home-land.

The player shoots left and likes to play on his off wing, when he is not centring a line.