Sheffield Steelers have signed defenceman Christoffer Bjorklund - and his first competitive match for his new club will be back in his native Sweden.
Bjorklund, 28, was an assistant captain last season with Mora IK, in the second division of the Scandinavian country’s hockey system.
After playing in two friendlies, the 5ft 10ins left shot will join his new team-mates on a Champions Hockey League mission at the Kinnarps Arena, home of HV71, in
Sweden’s top league.
Bjorklund said: “I was looking for a new challenge and after speaking with Paul Thompson I decided Sheffield was the perfect place for that adventure. I spoke with Freddie Vestberg who played in Sheffield last year and had great feedback. Whilst I haven’t played with either Paul or Jerry Andersson before I am aware of them and their involvement with the Steelers. Sheffield is a winning organisation and who doesn’t want to win? I’m sure it’s going to be very tough trying to win the league for a third time but we will try very hard, that’s for sure.
“The CHL excites me as well, who wouldn’t want to play in those games? It also means an early return to Sweden. Those games will be very difficult but we will go in looking to be successful.”
Bjorklund describes himself as a solid two way defencemen. “I think those words sum up my game. I can play in all situations” he said.
Coach Thompson, who has been looking for a d-man with similar influence as the recently-retired Rod Sarich, said: “We have signed a very rounded, smart player.
“I believe he will bring us great calmness on the back end. I like his intelligence and the fact that he led the Allsvenskan league in minutes-played as a defencemen last year. That show’s me he has a good engine.
“Our D core is now complete. It is different to last year. I feel it has the right balance throughout the six members. They all bring different ingredients but their experience will give us the right results.”