Sheffield Steelers: New boy Jonas Liwing backed to do his talking on the ice

Jonas Westerling believes most Swedish men are quiet - and predicts that new Sheffield Steelers' import defenceman Jonas Liwing will do his talking out on the ice.

By Bob Westerdale
Thursday, 30 May, 2019, 12:12
New Steelers signing Jonas Liwing

Liwing, a 36-year-old defenceman put pen to paper with the club this week and was a signing immediately welcomed by Westerling, who spent two years ferreting for the puck as a centreman for the South Yorkshire side.

Westerling, who retired from the professional game despite a yearning to return to the UK, played alongside Liwing for two years with AIK in Stockholm.

Jonas Westerling

In the second year, 2009-2010, the pair were instrumental in AIK's promotion to the Elitserien - a heady time for both.

Westerling was one of several ex Steelers' skaters that Liwing sounded out before signing for new coach Aaron Fox's 2019-20 project.

"I think he is pretty much the same as me as a person, doesn’t talk that much, like every Swede!" said Westerling.

"But he is a really nice guy, a really skilled defender and right-handed. He will be great on the Power Play."

Westerling said Liwing led by example on the ice during that promotion year but, like many Swedes, was less of a vocal influence in the dressing room.

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He added that Liwing's age was not going to be an issue.

"The off-ice practice in Sweden is on another level so he will be in great shape" said the forward.

"It is difficult to say what he will bring that the team lacked last year but he is a good player and he is probably going to score a lot of points. Many assists too."

Asked whether he thought the blueliner would make a quick transition to living and playing in England, he replied: "I hope so but it’s a different style of hockey so give him some time. But it’s a good signing."

Liwing will have some insight into Sheffield, he played twice for Södertälje SK against Steelers at iceSheffield in a back-to-back pre-season friendly in 2017, pitting himself against a team including Andreas Valdix, Colton Fretter and Mathieu Roy. The clubs had a win each.

Westerling himself hopes to "play for fun when I can" next season but added: "We will see what happens."

The Leeds United fan, 37, said he would be returning to the UK "for sure" at some point.