Steelers head coach Paul Thompson has confirmed the signing of 28 year old Canadian Centre John Armstrong on a two year contract.
6’3 Armstrong was a 3rd round pick of the Calgary Flames in the 2006 NHL draft.
“I wanted size in the middle and that is one of the attributes that John brings” said Thompson “I wanted a big centre with a big reach, a man who could hold onto the puck and keep it down low
“John played in Denmark last year with Odense Bulldogs. He had a terrific year. I used my contacts from my time over there and had some great feedback about him as a player and a person.
“I’m keen on bringing people here who will contribute to the group. My feed back on John was excellent on the ice as a player and even better off it. I think he is a good fit for what we need”
Armstrong credited former Steeler Gord Baldwin for his recommendation of Sheffield “Gord is a good friend of mine and when I had the approach from Sheffield he was my first port of reference” he said “After a 10 minute conversation with him I was sold and wanted to sign. Gord loved the City, the club and the people and I think given half a chance he would have been on a plane sat next to me”
Joining a contender was also important to Armstrong “I know I’m joining a good team. You look at the roster and its deep with talent. I want to win a championship, want to contribute to a league title.
“As a player I take great pride in both ends of the ice, offensively and defensively. I’m strong in the corners, I hold on to the puck and try and create for my team mates. I can shoot as well, I have a good shot but through most of my career I have more assists than goals”
Armstrong turned professional in 2008 when signing for Quad City Flames in the AHL. Before that he captained Peterborough Petes in the OHL scoring 57 points in 65 games in his final season there.
In total Armstrong played 177 AHL games and a further 140 in the ECHL before moving to Europe two years ago. In 2014-15 he played in Lillehammer in Notway before moving to Odense in Denmark last season where he scored 15 goals and 50 points in 31 games.
John Armstrong will make his Steelers debut on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th August against Danish side Aalborg Pirates in two exhibition games ahead of the Champions Hockey League fixtures in Sweden and Austria.