Daine Todd: Sheffield Steelers' squad completed by attack-minded defenceman
Sheffield Steelers believe they will have an offensive-defensive duo that should compare favourably with their own decorated, blue line skaters from the past couple of years.
Today's signing of Canadian Daine Todd brings to an end coach Aaron Fox' s summer spending spree and overall re-build.
The player is likely to be the 'quarter back' on the power play.
Todd's arrival follows the recent re-signing of Kevin Schulze, who was second only to Nottingham Panthers' Mark Matheson in terms of points scoring D-men in the 2021 mini-series.
Fox had Jérémy Beaudry contributing from the blue line in that tournament, but he has since signed for a Slovakian club.
The Sheffield coach though will be hoping Todd will have an even bigger impact on the stimulation of attacks from deep.
In the 2019-20 season, Sheffield had Marek Troncinsky (tragically deceased) and Ben O'Connor (signed for Cardiff Devils) so their offensive d-men's boots are big ones to fill.
Todd, 34, is a nimble, relatively small right-hander who played 71 games in the Russian KHL, 66 in the German DEL and 56 in the American Hockey League, mostly with the Portland Pirates.
He arrives in the EIHL from German club Iserlohn, although he has not played during lockdown times.
“Daine is a smooth skating offensive defenceman who has run some really big numbers for a d-man at the AHL, KHL, SHL and DEL level” said Fox.
“He sees the ice extremely well and has a very high hockey IQ. Daine competes hard defensively, he excels on the PP but will be able to play in all situations.
“I believe that Daine’s skating is at the elite level which I think fits really well into our group" added the coach.
"He spent some time paired with now fellow Steeler Keaton Ellerby as well which will be a nice option to have if needed.
“Overall, I think with the six guys we have at the back there is a really nice mix to our group, it also allows us to play Evan Mosey as a forward to start but if we have any injuries he can play that swing role.”
Todd said he had been examining his European options after not playing last season due to the pandemic.
"A good friend of mine, Gord Baldwin, had played there previously and raved about his time with the Steelers.
“When I heard Keaton had signed I thought even more that this would be the place for me to go, I played with Keaton in Iserlohn and we had a good partnership.
“Sheffield seems to be a great combination of a good league, good club, super building and passionate fans. As a hockey player, what more do you want? Also, as I get older you have to think of the family you are bringing half way around the world, the quality of life for a family in the UK is excellent.
"I have a one and a half year old so you have to think of more than just yourself these days.”
The player describes himself as "a small d-man, a good skater, I move the puck well and try and create offence wherever I can. I’d like to think I do my fair share of work in all areas of the ice and contribute well to the team."