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Double Signing for the Steelers

Double Signing for the Steelers

Double Signing for the Steelers as Fox lands netminder Brust and the returning d-man Schulze.

Steelers head coach Aaron Fox has filled two more important slots in his roster ahead of the start of the 2021-22 Elite league season.

Experienced goalie Barry Brust and returning defenseman Kevin Schulze have committed to the Steelers leaving Fox with just one more place available in his squad in time for the season start.

Brust will replace Tomas Duba between the pipes for the Steelers this year. The 38 year old Canadian has unrivalled experience having played in the NHL, AHL, KHL and DEL recently.

In 230 AHL games in Manchester, Houston and Binghampton, Brust was the league’s goalie of the week, month and eventual All Star, winning the Calder Cup in 2011. His 11 NHL appearances came in Los Angeles in 2007.

Whilst Brust’s first venture to Europe came in 2011-12 with Straubing in the DEL, his first connection with Steelers coach Aaron Fox came two years later when the pair hooked up with Zagreb in the KHL.

After four years in Russia’s top league, a move to Switzerland and HC Fribourg-Gotteron followed, returning to the KHL in 2018 and then onto HC Slovan Bratislava in the Czech Republic the following year.

“Brusty is a big goalie who has played at the highest levels in North America and Europe” said Fox “I had Barry with me in Zagreb and love what he will bring to our group on and off the ice.

“He played the 19-20 season in Slovakia and led the league in Sv% and GAA while there. He reads the game and play better than any goalie I have had which I think is a huge strength.

“Barry plays the puck extremely well and I think his style and edge he plays with will be one that our Steelers faithful will immediately love.”

Brust can’t wait to get started in a new Country “I’ve been to Britain before once” he said “Though I don’t know if a one hour layover in London counts. I’m excited to get started, Foxy and I know each other well and we have been speaking about me joining Sheffield for a couple of years now.

“My Mother was born in South Shields, she recently passed away and I think there was a bit of a calling to come over to see where she spent her first 15 years” he said. “Hockey is always the first priority but playing in the same country as she was from helped make the decision in some ways.”

Aaron Fox will be looking for Brust to add to his leadership group, something the 6’2 shot stopper is keen to oblige “I may look daft, but I think my hockey IQ is excellent. I think I understand the game well. I should, I’m on the ice looking at it for 60 minutes!

“Sometimes as a player and a teammate you can say things, at the right time, to the group that resonates. I pride myself on knowing the right time to do that. Like all players, we just want to win and anything we can do to help that happen we will do”

Kevin Schulze

Steelers fans will remember the excellent Kevin Schulze from his time with the club in the recent Elite Series.

Schulze registered 2 goals and 14 points in 15 games during that mini series.

Prior to joining the Steelers, the 28 year old American completed his education at the University of Wisconsin turning pro in 2016 with Wheeling in the East Coast Hockey League. After two-years in North America, Europe beckoned with a move to Sweden playing for both Vasterviks and Leksands in the Allsvenskan.

For season 2019-20, a move to the German DEL was made and a year spent with Nurnberg before then joining the Steelers for the Elite Series in Nottingham.

“Kevin came into the Elite Series and made a huge impression on and off the ice with us” said Aaron Fox. “He led our team in total points as a Dman and for an undersized guy also played a hard-nosed game in his own end.

“Kevin’s skating is his biggest strength and extremely special.  We saw him lead the rush and still be back first once the puck was lost which allows him to play a more aggressive game.

“I’m sure that he will also be a key PP guy for us and also a solid PK guy.

“We had to deal with offers from other clubs we consider in the mix for the League but ultimately he loved his time in Sheffield and wanted to be here. I’m really happy to have him back!”

Schulze agreed that the Elite Series helped make his mind up “For sure it did” he said “I was impressed from the moment I arrived in Sheffield, from the ownership down in our first meeting it was super professional.

“That series, whilst not being a full season gave me a great taster of what to expect, the city, the building and the fan support was all fantastic.”

Kevin is looking forward to the responsibility that coach Aaron Fox will give him “Listen, every hockey player wants to play a pivotal role in the team. If I can do that by contributing on the power-play, a little like we did in the Elite Series then I will be happy.”

Kevin Schulze

Both Brust and Schulze will be joining the Steelers whilst studying at Sheffield Hallam University. “This is a new and exciting relationship we have with this outstanding University said Fox, both players will combine their hockey work with studies for a Masters in Sports Business management.

“Sheffield Hallam University have been most helpful and accommodating in the process and without them we would have struggled to conclude these two deals.”

Brust commented “I’m a Dad now and with that comes the chance to grow as a person. We do have to think of life after hockey and whilst winning games in my number one priority, this is an important opportunity for me.”

Schulze added “As hockey players all we tend to think of is hockey, hockey and hockey. This chance for me to study and play is a big thing to me. There is a lot of life to live after hockey and I’m appreciative of the opportunity given to me to explore this Masters Programme.”

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