HE’S 22, fresh out of college hockey and about to play professional hockey for the first time...in a foreign country.
And at 5ft 10ins, Chad Huttel is perhaps a tad below the average height for an Elite League defenceman.
But the ambitious American is adamant he’ll prove himself for Sheffield Steelers next season.
“The one thing I can guarantee my coach, team mates and fans is that I give 110% every shift every night” he says. “I might not be blessed with great size but I love the physical battle and I’m not afraid to mix it in the corners. I like to get the puck out of my zone as quickly as possible. I play a very solid game.”
Huttel says he had various opportunities to turn professional after leaving college.
“Some were in the East Coast League and some in Germany. It was a goal of mine for a number of years to play in Europe after my four years in Minnesota.
“When (coach) Ryan Finnerty called and after I had spoken with my agent we both agreed that the Steelers offer was too good to miss out on. It was also a chance to further my Education at the University of Sheffield.
“I like the fact that the coach was so direct, he told me what was expected of me.
He also told me that we were expected to win every night and that he wanted to win every trophy on offer next year. I like that pressure and expectation.”
Huttel laughed off recent speculation on the club’s internet forum that he had been involved in an incident with police in Colorado.
“That story gets blown up more and more each time it’s told” he said. “I should go along with it as it makes me look the tough guy. I was playing against Colorado two years ago and involved in a fight, I got kicked out and the fans were going wild throwing things, I got mad and tried to get back onto the ice and had to be held back.
“Now the story goes that the police had to use Taser (stun) guns on me to restrain me. I like that story but it isn’t true!”