Sheffield Steelers’ Brit pack - best in Elite League?

Jonathan Phillips - Sheffield Steelers v Edinburgh Capitals 22/10/14
Jonathan Phillips - Sheffield Steelers v Edinburgh Capitals 22/10/14
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With eight new imports in the Sheffield team, much of the focus this year has been on the overseas talent which has taken the side into third place in the League with games in hand over the leaders.

Certainly the top line of Mathieu Roy, Michael Forney and Colton Fretter has made an explosive contribution and the likes of Cullen Eddy and Tyler Mosienko are established fan favourites.

But if Rob Dowd does return to the fold from injury this weekend, it will be worth looking afresh at the Brit pack contingent in the team.

Does any other Elite League side boast such an array of home-grown talent?

The recent signature of Durham-born Ben O’Connor, a defenceman who has seven assists in four games, has reinforced the team considerably.

Captain Jonathan Phillips has scored a goal and six assists in five games and livewire Jason Hewitt has 3+3 in eight.

Mark Thomas is taking the body, Phil Hill is a stronger asset than last year, and coach Gerad Adams is keen on developing Peterborough Phantoms forward Luke Ferrara.

The Brit pack has always been regarded as the core of the side, even by the imports. Now it looks like it is increasing its influence still further.

This weekend Steelers play the Elite League’s bottom two teams, Edinburgh Capitals and Dundee Stars.

With both the opposition sides winning just one game in regulation each, Steelers will be favourites - but are aware it is also a potential banana skin weekend.