Aaron Johnson Completes the Steelers Blueline
The Sheffield Steelers have completed their new look blueline with the signing of 35 year old former NHL defenseman Aaron Johnson.
Johnson made 291 NHL appearances for Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Islanders, Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and the Boston Bruins. He also played 455 AHL league and play off games captaining Hartford Wolf Pack, Binghamton Senators and Stockton Heat.
For the past two seasons Johnson has played in the German DEL for Adler Mannheim.
“Aaron completes our D core” said head coach Paul Thompson “we will announce our final signing next week and our roster will be complete
“I can’t explain how much work went into bringing Aaron to the Steelers, from ownership down. The University of Sheffield and I must also give a shout out to Evan McGrath for his input. It’s been a long process but one certainly worth the wait.
“You only have to look at Aaron’s CV to know we have signed a quality player. As well as the impressive North American career you add Mannheim one of Europe’s top clubs.
“An American league captain for three different teams tells you about the leadership and respect he brings with him.
“A huge thank you to everyone at the University of Sheffield for their assistance. I know we have signed a great player and I know they have signed a great student”
Johnson’s career has seen him travel all around North America and more recently to Germany “My wife and I enjoy to travel” he said “We have visited the UK before and loved our time here. That visit wetted the appetite to return. When my German agent first mentioned Britain, Sheffield and then the possibility of the MBA it pricked the interest to investigate this opportunity more.
“I then spoke with Paul and struck up a good rapport with him. My research on Sheffield was thorough. I spoke with friends and colleagues who had played in Britain and in the end came to the conclusion that two years with the Steelers and the University of Sheffield was the place for my family and I”
Johnson says his views of what type of player he is has changed over the years “I guess 20 years ago I’d answer the question differently than today” he said “My skating is the part of my game that has kept me playing at this level. I’ve played for teams where I’ve been an offensive defenseman and I’ve played for teams where I’ve been asked to be a defensive defenseman. I guess the answer is I love to play, love to make plays but I’ll also block shots and contain. Whatever the team needs”.