Swedish centre Markus Nilsson will go to amazing lengths and risk injury every night for his new club Sheffield Steelers, according to his countryman and assistant coach Jerry Andersson.
The bench boss coached Nilsson at their former club Troja Ljungby and says courage and determination are a hallmark of his game.
“He is a great team member, works very hard every game, and is ready to block 50 shots if he needs” said Andersson.
“He reads the game well, has good hands, good skills, an energy player.”
The hockey website Elite Prospects has a mixed assessment of the 25-year-old forward.
It describes his as a “player with excellent technical skills and good speed...has a nose for the net and the potential to become a high-scoring player in the future.” But it adds: “However, Nilsson could use some work on his physical game and also fine-tune his defensive skills.”
Andersson, however, believes the centre will have a similar influence to that of the now-departed Freddy Vestberg.
“I think it is possible (for him) to be a favourite for the fans, when they see what he will give the club, with his body and his style.”
While top-class Swedish hockey is deemed streets ahead of the British game, Andersson believes the UK fans are the best of the two. He said the emotions generated in the UK mirrored NHL and AHL games in north America.
“Fantastic, fabulous, when I watched the fans’ passion for ice hockey...we don’t have that in Sweden.
“I have watched the (Play Off) final in Nottingham and for me it is a big happening to see how proud the fans are. In Sheffield, the fans have to be involved.”