Sheffield Steelers head coach has paid tribute to “obsessed” first-year signing John Armstrong for the role he played in the club’s play-off success.
“I thought in the final run in John was obsessed,” said Thompson.
“John elevated his game, of that there is no question. He was obsessed with a desire to deliver and for his team to win. He wanted to be a difference maker and he was.
“All year I liked his game, he was an unsung hero for us. He played on different lines with different wingers and produced all year.
“We had meetings with all of the players as the league season came to an end. I asked John for more, I told him I wanted more and by god did he deliver.
“I don’t think there was a better player on show at the final four weekend. He delivered and that meant we as a club delivered and brought the championship home.”
And Thompson reckons the best is yet to come, too.
“John is such a big body and skates so well,” he added.
“I need him to be physical and take the put to the net, when he does that he is a huge difference maker.
“I think coming back for a second year he will be great for us. He knows the league, the style of play and what is expected of him. He has shown us his level and what we can expect from him.
“If we are going to win our title back then we need big John at his best.
“I know I can play John with the Fretter-Roy line or with Desbiens as he finished the year this last season, they had good chemistry.”