“The wait has been worthwhile,” said Steelers Head Coach Paul Thompson after confirming the signing of 31-year-old Swedish centre Andreas Valdix.
Valdix, who was picked in the NHL entry draft by the Washington Capitals (round 4, 109th overall) in 2003 has played the last two seasons with HC Innsbruck of the highly regarded Austrian EBEL.
Before that, the Swedish national team junior registered 390 Allsvenskan games, mainly as part of the IK Oskarshamn organisation, and a further 117 games in the SHL, on the whole with his native Malmö during a 10 year career in his home-land.
“I waited a long time to get a player who I feel brings the skill set to complete our roster,” said Thompson.
“Andreas is big, a very strong skater and has outstanding vision. He has incredible puck possession and passing qualities, he is a perfect fit for us.
“Don’t be fooled by his point output last year in Innsbruck, we have signed a very complete player and centre.
“We both did our research over this negotiation period, the more I looked into him, the more I realised he was the man we had been looking for. I coached against him in the Allsvenskan so have seen him first-hand, seen what he can do. He has an outstanding two-way game and is a very educated player.
“I’m a very happy coach right now. This has been a very long few months putting this team together. I can’t wait to get them on the ice in two and a half weeks time so we can prepare for the games against Aalborg and then the CHL games against HV71 and Red Bull Salzburg.”