Sheffield Steelers: Jonas Fredriksson grateful for Steelers experience

Wherever Jonas Fredriksson plays this coming season, he hopes to bring some of the influences he picked up at Sheffield Steelers.

Jonas Fredriksson
Jonas Fredriksson

The Swedish defenceman played 20 games for Tom Barrasso's side in the last campaign and feels he didn't get a chance to shine.

But the experience has made him a better player, thanks largely to the mentorship and guidance of some of the team's veterans...and that orange army of fans.

Reflecting on his time at the Arena, he said: "What springs to mind the most is just how good of a group that was to be around.

"It was great for me to watch and learn from true pros like Jono Phillips, Robert Dowd, Aaron Johnson, and Evan McGrath," he told The Star.

"Those guys have been doing this at a high level for a long time, and it was great to see how they go about their business on daily basis.

"Another thing that really sticks out in my mind is the amount of support from the community.

"The home game against the Panthers right after Christmas is something that I'll always remember."

Fredriksson said Great Britain skipper Phillips, in particular, was a player he admired.

"I've never been around a player that personifies every characteristic that you want in a captain the way he does," said the defenceman.

"Aaron Johnson was another player that was special to be around for those reasons, and it's easy to see how they've managed to stay at this level for as long as they have."

The 26-year-old Swede was excited to see fellow countryman Jonas Liwing recruited by coach Aaron Fox, from Västerås IK in that country's second flight.

"I don't know him personally, but from what I've heard just being around hockey is that he is a terrific player.

"He likes to make plays and set up his teammates," said Fredriksson, who has been working recently in safety supervision of construction areas.

"He's been a leading defenceman in Hockey Allsvenskan for long time, and I think it's a great addition for the Steelers."

Steelers' first competitive opponents of the new season has been announced as Nottingham Panthers. They will visit the Arena on Saturday, August 31.

The following night Sheffield make the return trip. Both are Challenge Cup matches.

Meanwhile Sheffield Steeldogs have announced pre-season games against Milton Keynes Lightning, away on September 7 and at home the following night.