Key man in Steelers’ mini series signs for new team in Slovakia
One of Sheffield Steelers' most important players in April's EIHL mini-series has moved on, signing for a newly-promoted team in Slovakia.
Jérémy Beaudry was on the ice pad longer than any other Steeler in the 2021 domestic tournament and was eye-catching from his first game with the club.
The 27-year-old Canadian was universally regarded as the best defenceman in the series - a factor which elevated his importance in the eyes of several European teams.
Recently, he told The Star a return to Sheffield "would be an option for sure."
But a contract offer from HK Spisska Nova Ves - and the chance to play in the Slovak Extraliga - was enough to see him on the way to the eastern Slovak town.
His new team were promoted as champions to the top flight last season.
"I really liked my time in Sheffield and playing for the Steelers. I like how Aaron (Fox) and Carter (Beston-Will) manage the team" Beaudry told The Star.The blueliner showed his offensive skills with six goals and seven assists, including two power play efforts from distance in one match against Manchester Storm.
"Obviously, scoring two goals in a game is fun but I would have rather scored those in the final, when it really mattered."
Asked about his favourite moment, he replied: "I would say the whole experience.
"Personally, after being part of two teams earlier that season, (Rødovre Mighty Bulls of Denmark and Amiens of France) I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea for me to come (to Sheffield.)
"But after all, I’m really glad I chose to come to Sheffield. Just for the experience, meeting new people and making new friends, everything was worth it."
The Slovakian side is delighted with their new signing.
Richard Rapác said: "This is an offensive modern defender who can play with a puck on a hockey stick and be active in supporting attackers.
"We count him on power plays, where he should use his hard shot and directing skills. We believe that with its skills it will increase our productivity and help the team to win."
Beaudry was picked for the honorary EIHL Series All-Star Team and scored more goals than any other defencemen in the tournament.
Series' first choice goaltender John Muse has also moved on but The Star understands Fox's team re-build is well underway, including the netminding position.