A Canadian centreman known for his ‘wing-span’ has signed a two-year contract with Sheffield Steelers.
John Armstrong, a 6ft 3ins right shot, was picked by coach Paul Thompson partly because of his size and range, which last season saw him score 50 points in 31 league games for Odense Bulldogs in Denmark. His tally, mainly assists, was almost double what he achieved the previous season at Lillehammer in Norway.
“I wanted size in the middle and that is one of the attributes John brings” said Thompson. “I wanted a big centre with a big reach, a man who could hold onto the puck and keep it down low.
“John had a terrific year with Odense. I used my contacts from my time over there and had some great feedback about him as a player and a person.
“I’m keen on bringing people here who will contribute to the group. My feed back on John was excellent on the ice as a player and even better off it. He is a good fit for what we need.”
The 28-year-old was a third round pick of Calgary Flames in the 2006 NHL draft. He played 177 times in teh AHL.
Armstrong was recommended to Steelers by former star Gord Baldwin.
The new boy said: “Gord is a good friend and when I had the approach from Sheffield he was my first port of reference. After a 10 minute conversation with him I was sold and wanted to sign!
“Gord loved the city, the club and the people and I think given half a chance he would have been on a plane sat next to me.
“I know I’m joining a good team. The roster is deep with talent. I want to win a championship.
“As a player I take great pride in both ends of the ice, offensively and defensively. I’m strong in the corners, I hold on to the puck and try and create for my team mates. I have a good shot but through most of my career I have more assists than goals”
Steelers are now on the look-out for a more defensive centreman to join Armstrong.