Aaron Fox took a step closer to completing his 2019-20 roster today when announcing the arrival of 28-year-old defenceman James Bettauer.
Bettauer, a native of Burnaby, British Columbia holds dual Canadian / Germany nationality, playing his junior career in the WHL in Canada whilst his professional time has been spent in Germany with four DEL sides.
“James is coming in on the 2 year MBA package at The University of Sheffield” confirmed Fox “we can’t thank the Management school at the University enough for their assistance in helping us attract James and bring him to the Steelers
“He’s a solid 2-way Dman who has consistently been a PP and PK guy at the DEL level and can play in all situations. He skates well and is willing to mix it up physically when needed. We want to be a team that has active, aggressive D in all 3 zones and he’s a guy who will get us stops in the Dzone, but also likes to join the rush, and likes to push the pace.
“I’m really looking forward to having him here for two years and really like the way our Dman situation is looking”
Bettauer played his junior career between 2008-2012 in the WHL starting with Chilliwack Bruins and progressing to Prince Albert Raiders and Medicine Hat Tigers, his last season saw him as the most offensive Dman in the league, scoring 21 goals.
In 2012 James moved to Germany and the DEL playing in Hamburg, the following season saw him sign a 2-year contract with Augsburger Panthers. In 2016 a new 2-year deal was agreed with Straubing Tigers before playing last season in Krefeld with the Penguins.
In 351 DEL and Play-Off games, Bettauer returned stats of 41 goals, 69 assists for 110 points with 232 penalty minutes.
“It was time for a change and a new challenge,” said Bettauer “when the opportunity of playing in the UK arose and with it been coupled with the fantastic opportunity to study for an MBA then I realised this was the move for me.
“I was lucky that I had several options but after speaking with Aaron and looking into the schooling at the University of Sheffield I decided the Steelers was the team I should be joining.
“I’m looking forward to my time in Sheffield, the more I look into it and research it the more I feel it’s the right thing to do. As players and people, you look for new challenges. Whilst education is important for life after hockey, especially as I have just started my own business, I am super committed to the game and the Steelers”
Bettauer hopes he will be able to contribute to the team’s success over the next two years “that’s certainly the aim” he says “I’d like to think that I have qualities that will help. I’m mobile and can play at either end of the rink, given the opportunity I can produce points, I have a big shot. The coach obviously likes my game so I will do as I am asked and I’m sure we will have good times ahead”
This was the main recruiting point to him that got him to Sheffield. He had other Uni deals on the table and for him this being a triple accredited Russell Group school got this over the line for me.
Fox again turned to the University of Sheffield “James had many places he could play, The University of Sheffield was the main recruiting point to him that got him to Sheffield. He had other Uni deals on the table and for him this being a triple accredited Russell Group school got this over the line for me. I have learnt in my short time here in Sheffield how important this programme is to the Steelers and the quality and professionalism of all involved in delivering it to us at the University of Sheffield”
Ian Proctor, from the University’s MBA team, said “we are delighted to have James on board, our longstanding relationship with the Steelers has meant that we have had some very capable and motivated students join our MBA programme. The MBA programme at The University of Sheffield attracts students from around the world, they are all experienced professionals but the Steelers players always bring a different perspective to the programme. We very much look forward to welcoming James to the Management School in September.