Sheffield signing could open door to more Norwegians

Adrian Saxrud-Danielsen may be the first Norwegian national to sign a season-long deal at Sheffield Steelers - but he might not be the last.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 10:47 am

On Tuesday, the club announced they had agreed terms with the big defenceman, who played for them in the EIHL mini season - or the "audition" as he calls it.

Saxrud-Danielsen enjoyed his time in the UK and has already spread the gospel about the Steelers' set-up back home in Norway.

"I've already talked to some players and told them good things about the League and especially the city of Sheffield and the Steelers," he told The Star.

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He and countryman Sondre Olden, who also played in the condensed series and has since signed for HC La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland, both "loved the experience," added Saxrud-Danielsen.

The chance of playing in front of a full Sheffield Arena, denied to him by the Covid 19 lockdown, also appeals.

"I have only seen some videos and heard the guys talk about the crazy fans in the Sheffield Arena. That’s something I’d like to experience."

The Steeler dressing room chemistry was also a bonus for him.

Adrian Saxrud Danielsen and Ben Churchfield keep an eye on the puck, pic by Mark Ferriss

"I got to know the guys so quickly, so I got along with everybody really well. I sat beside Olden, Jono, (Jonathan Phillips) Hewy (Jason Hewitt) and the young guys there and we had a good time in the locker room."

Saxrud-Danielsen mainly served as a shut-down defenceman in the EIHL tournament at Nottingham, but he still weighed in with two goals and six assists in 16 games.

Manchester Storm probably won't have welcomed his return in an orange shirt. He scored both of his goals in matches against them.

"Scoring goals is the coolest," he said. "It doesn't happen too often so you have got to enjoy scoring goals."

Sondre Olden, centre.

The player said he was contacted by other hockey clubs before signing for Sheffield adding: "The total package with my family and girlfriend is important."

Meanwhile Sheffield Steeldogs say they are again willing to act as a Steeler farm team for developing, homegrown players and imports in the coming season.

Co-owner Ali Cree said he met Steelers' coach Aaron Fox a month ago and they discussed Dogs' players providing injury cover and training with the EIHL full-timers.