Jonas Fredriksson believes he was never given a proper chance to prove his true worth at Sheffield Steelers

Jonas Fredriksson - the Swede that Steelers twice turned to last season to help them with their struggling roster - believes he was never given a proper chance to prove his true worth at Sheffield.

By Bob Westerdale
Friday, 05 July, 2019, 22:53
Jonas Fredriksson - the Swede that Steelers twice turned to last season to help them with their struggling roster

The 26-year-old, currently looking for a job in the Elite League or beyond, dressed 22 times for Sheffield, being sent back to Sutton Sting during that spell, but then returning to the Arena again.

He is not in coach Aaron Fox's frame for a return to South Yorkshire for 2019-20, however.

For Fredriksson the two spells in an orange shirt were both memorable and frustrating.

Asked whether the then-coach Tom Barrasso gave him enough chances to succeed, he told The Star: "That's a tough question to answer. "During my first stint I did feel like I was starting to gain some momentum, with the Nottingham Panthers' games during Christmas (back to back wins.)

"I was getting more and more comfortable, and as a result I was getting more regular ice time.

"Unfortunately, during my second stint I never got the same opportunity. I was also never told why, which made the whole situation a lot harder to cope with.

"So at the end of the day, I would have to say that I did not feel like I got a fair shot at earning a regular spot."

Coach Barrasso, a plain speaker, described Fredriksson at one point as a "a good practice player for us, he fills a spot on the ice, helps practice run smoothly" but then implied that the defenceman would struggle in fast games against teams like Cardiff Devils.

But the player feels he had more to give than he was given credit for.

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"Obviously it was a big step for me compared to where I've played previously, but I never felt like I was completely out of my depth,” he said.

"However, I am not going to criticise Tom Barrasso for any decisions he made regarding my ice time as I fully believe that he made decisions that he thought were best for the team.

"The only thing I will say is this; that I don't quite understand how the conclusion of it being 'too fast' for me was reached, as I was not given much of an opportunity to play towards the end of the season."

The player was diplomatic about the quality of the Steeler team he joined.

"In all fairness, I don't think it's really my place to say. All I will say however is that there was a lot in the room, but unfortunately we couldn't get it to come together."

The left-shot defenceman thinks he has played his last for Sheffield.

"There is no interest from the Steelers" he accepts, adding: "Which isn't necessarily surprising as I'm sure coach Fox wants to put together his own team.

"The EIHL is a good league, and a league that's run very well.

"I'd love to play there again, but it's not the only league that I'd consider playing in.

"At the moment I am trying to find a good fit where I have an opportunity to play a lot of minutes at a good level. If that's in the EIHL then I'd be excited for the challenge, but I'm also looking elsewhere."