New boy Levi Nelson says he has benefitted from playing on a line with two established Sheffield Steelers stalwarts.
Nelson has spent a fair amount of time on the ice with Jeff Legue and Rob Dowd, two forwards with a rich history in a Steelers’ shirt.
And that has helped him adjust his style to his new surroundings in British ice hockey.
Nelson scored from a Legue pass against Swedish side Frolunda Indians in last Sunday’s 1-4 Arena defeat and said it had been an exciting moment to level the game, at that point. Looking back at the Scandinavian giants, he said: “They are a skilled hockey team, one of the top in Europe, and for the most part we were right there with them, we just couldn’t make that extra push.”
But he said a lot of positives were being taken into the Challenge Cup and regular Elite League season. The Champions League had been a great experience for the organisation; the squad had benefitted from starting a couple of weeks earlier than other teams, he said.
“Going over to Sweden and Finland was pretty special and brought our group closer together. We gelled quick we are a close knit group and that’s what we need in the regular season. It feels like we have been together months already. It is a good group of guys.” As for his linemates: “They are good hockey players, Dowd has a lot of speed and skill and Leggs is a big energy guy who makes all the right plays and is good in the defensive zone.”
He said all three complimented and fed off each other. “We just try to do the little things right. We are just starting to get some chemistry. Hopefully we can keep it up and carry it into the regular season.”
Cardiff Devils, who visit Sheffield Arena on Sunday, host Nottingham Panthers the day before.
Meanwhile Phil Hill has signed for Telford Tigers - a disappointment for coach Paul Thompson.