Two year deal for young Sheffield Steelers prospect

It is no coincidence that Sam Jones is the first name to be announced as a returning skater for Sheffield Steelers' 2022-23 campaign.

Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 6:00 am

A minority of Sheffield fans turned on the 24-year-old after their team slipped out of the Play Offs on Sunday.

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Sheffield Steelers season deemed 'a failure'

Jones took a slashing penalty with 91 seconds remaining of regular time at Dundee Stars on Sunday.

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The scores were tied 3-3 on aggregate and on the power play, Sebastian Bengtsson scored what proved to be the tie-winner.

Some fans vented their anger with the defenceman, his team mates and the coaching staff, on social media platforms.

But the club moved quickly to show their support for the Brit by announcing a new two-year contract with him.

And team mate Justin Hodgman drew attention to a moment in the first leg of the quarter-final against Stars when Jones took on one of the hardest opponents in the EIHL.

Sam Jones goes in for a check.

Jones threw himself at Canadian defenceman Kyle Haas in an early statement at the Arena game.

Hodgman said: "He went after one of the toughest guys in the league, I can't say I'd have had the guts to do that.

"But Jonesy is a tough guy and works hard...hats off him to him. It is nice to know someone on your team has got your back."

Jones represented Steelers in all their domestic games this season with a plus-minus ratio of +32.

Sam Jones has signed a new two-year deal with Sheffield Steelers. Photo: Dean Woolley.

Coach Aaron Fox said: "Sam has grown into an outstanding two-way defenceman and at his age, we still feel like he still can take his game to another level.

“He’s shown some good offensive ability and got his minutes extended as the season went on, he’s also shown he’s willing to stick up for his teammates whenever needed.

"We think he’s a great long-term defenceman for us”.

Jones commented: “I’m happy to be back and for two years. I’ve really enjoyed playing for Foxy and I’m grateful for him giving me the opportunity.

Justin Hodgman, big fan of Jones.

“He reduced my minutes when I wasn’t playing well and rewarded me with extra ice time as the year went on and my game improved.

“The organisation here is great from Tony (Smith; owner) down, he gives us the opportunity to compete and win every night.

"This year we didn’t manage to deliver but we will come back stronger next year I’m sure.”

This coming weekend's finals will be without Steelers and host team Nottingham Panthers, so it will be interesting to see what crowd numbers are recorded, especially as many fans have voiced their alarm at the costs involved, this year.

Weekend passes cost £115 and day tickets £57.50.

The 'private executive suite hospitality experience' weighs in at a princely £360 per person.