COLIN Shields’ sixth-sense when it comes to finding team-mates in goalscoring positions could be a key weapon in Sheffield Steelers title push.
That’s the view of Mark Thomas, who has played both alongside and against the skilled, unselfish forward.
Shields, who will make his debut for the club in the pre-season friendly against Coventry Blaze on Saturday, routinely scores more assists than goals.
“Colin sees the ice well and is a really good passer,” said defenceman Thomas.
“He is good defensively, too, and can play on the point on the Power Play.
“But what I always noticed about him was how he draws people in to him when he is on the puck to make space for others – then finds them with the puck, exactly where they wanted it.”
Shields has a modest 31-games season with French side HC Morzine-Avoriaz last term.
His point production dropped there, which is why Sheffield coach Ryan Finnerty believes the 32-year-old will have something to prove to an Elite League which he has previously graced as top scorer.
Thomas said: “They play comparitively few games in France, players are probably just getting in shape and the season is over.
“He’ll make an impact here, though, I am sure of that.”
Thomas is also looking forward to the contribution that another new signing, Tylor Michel, will make.
The forward played for IF Björklöven in Sweden last year, but is better known here for his two years at Cardiff Devils.
“He is like Hewy (Jason Hewitt) in that they are gritty and like doing all the dirty work for their team,” he said.