DeLuca comes back to "crazy" Sheffield fans

Anthony DeLuca's explosive offensive skills will be on show for Sheffield Steelers' fans this coming season.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 6:00 am

Coach Aaron Fox could not find room for 'DeLucs' in the shortened EIHL season in April, but has brought the player back for the full term of 2021-22.

Fox says he expects the sniper to be more consistent in all areas of his game.

He also wants him to "dig in on the defensive side of the game" - something the winger has previously committed to.

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Unquestionably, DeLuca, 26, is a fans' favourite - his combustible, high-energy drive to the net frequently brings fans to their feet.

DeLuca's last appearance for Sheffield was in the Challenge Cup final win in Cardiff, a season where he had more shots on goal than any other teammate.

That sort of drive led to a personal statistic of 26 goals (joint top club net-finder, eight of those goals on the power play) and 21 assists...47 points in 42 regular season games.

On one nine-game run in that season the Canadian racked up 17 points.

DeLuca back in the fold.

Only two team-mates saw longer spells in the penalty box.

DeLuca finished his last season at Sheffield on a line with Brendan Connolly and Marco Vallerand - both of whom will also be back again, hinting at good times ahead.

"I’m extremely happy” said the skater. “I do consider Sheffield to be home, a place I so wanted to come back to.

“There was so much I missed, my teammates, playing in front of a packed out Arena and of course those crazy fans who cheer us on.

Anthony Deluca, Marco Vallerand and Brendan Connolly. Pic by Dean Woolley

“If this lockdown taught us anything it is that you shouldn’t take things for granted. I think I took Sheffield for granted, the great way we were treated by the organisation and the city, the atmosphere in our own building and just what it meant to be a Steeler in Sheffield.

"When it wasn’t there I felt something was missing and just couldn’t wait to come home.”

Fox said he was excited to have brought the Quebec native back.

“We had some really good conversations over the last weeks prior to getting this done. We all know the offensive upside and goal scoring ability he brings to our group" he said.

“When he’s engaged and on top of his game he can single handedly win you games.

"I think this is a big year for Delucs to also take the next steps and become a more consistent player on a night-b-night basis and he needs to really dig in on the defensive side of the game. I am expecting a big year from him in that regard."

DeLuca, in all, has dressed exactly 100 games for Sheffield.

The orange army will be delighted to see him move into 101 and beyond.