Paul Thompson’s persuasive tongue has managed to prise away a veteran forward who has spent 13 seasons in his native Swedish hockey.
Speedy 32 year old Fredrik Vestberg - a defensive specialist who can score goals - is the latest to join Sheffield Steelers’ surprisingly quick recruitment drive. He is likely to be paired with Jeff Legue.
Thompson coached against Vestberg when he was with Troja Lungby two seasons ago - and went after him during the early weeks of his coaching tenure in Sheffield.
“I like my centre men to be responsible in all areas of the ice” said Thompson.
“I know the Swedish game and they have to be smart defensively and Fredrik is that. He plays the game at high speed and has a great skill set.
“I think the Steelers fans are going to enjoy his hockey intelligence, his smartness. To score the points he did on a consistent level in the Allsvenskan is a credit.”
Vestberg, who is said to be effective in shoot-outs and in penalty-shot was excited to be joining the Steelers and described the move as an “adventure.”
“This is the right time for me to make a change” he said “I’m at the right age to do this and I’m excited to be coming to England and joining a club like Sheffield.
“I think the last two years in Almtuna have been tough, the club had economic problems and we found it hard at times. After 13 years it was time for me to move on.
“My family and I have always enjoyed England and when the opportunity came our way we knew it was the right time. I did my homework on Sheffield, I found that they were a team always competing for trophies.
“Knowing Paul Thompson a little also was a factor. He knows my style and what I am like. I spoke a lot with Paul and we got on well.
“I hope my speed will be a factor. I am a good skater and also handle the puck well. I like to set up plays and make good passes to my team mates
“I can’t wait to get started, this is a very exciting challenge and one I’m looking forward to.”