Jonathan Phillips has paid the ultimate compliment to Colton Fretter: dubbing him the best all-round import he’s ever played with.
That’s some tribute given a decade of playing amongst alongside some of the best overseas players to have graced these shores.
“Fretter has the ability to make the players around him better. He’s the team’s bit of magic” said the team captain.
That should be a confidence booster for the Canadian, whose groin injury kept him out of 39 games last season. The forward returned to score, in the ultimately unsuccessful Play Off series. Now after a summer of recuperation, he is ready, says coach Paul Thompson.
“He had a tough year, not just physically but mentally as well.
“When you are in and out of the line up and not playing to anything close to what you are capable of because of injuries... but now there is a smile on his face, he is raring to go. He is a good player, he is strong shoots the puck, makes plays, is skilled.
“Look at where he has played, the goals, points he has accumulated, he is a pretty special player.”
Thompson added: “We never saw that last year, consistently, because of his injuries.
“I am excited to have a fully fit Colton Fretter for this season.”
Steelers play the first of two friendlies against Danish side Aalborg at iceSheffield on Saturday night.
* Hull Pirates have signed veteran Steelers forward Jason Hewitt.
The winger said “it was a good opportunity and a good fit with what I am doing right now, I’m excited to get going.
“I’m an energy guy, hopefully the Hull fans will take to me when I get there, I’m a hard worker and I will do what it takes for the team this year.”
Speaking about personal targets this year, the forward stated “everything I’ve ever done has been through hard work. I’ll plan on playing the same game and whatever rewards that come with that is what I’ll be happy with, I’ll do whatever it takes to try and make this team successful.”
Head Coach Dominic Osman added “we’re really happy to be able to bring Jason to Hull. He was one of the guys who we were talking to, he’s one of those guys who we brought in to take our group to the next level.
“Anytime you can get a guy with that experience coming on-board, it’s going to be a massive improvement to what we already have now.
“He’s going to be a guy who is going to be counted on to play, top two lines obviously, and he’s a guy who bring experience. He’s coming down from the Elite League, which is a good league and it’s continuing to get better. He’s still able to play at that level and anytime you can bring in a guy who can play at that level to us, it’s of course going to be massive.
“You look at the organisation he comes from, it’s absolutely top class, it’s probably the top organisation in the country and he’s been there for ten years. It’s incredible to be able to have a guy like that coming to our club.
“He’s going to be a huge part of our team next season.”