Steelers Sign Niklas Nevalainen.
Steelers head coach Aaron Fox has confirmed the signing of 29 year old Niklas Nevalainen from Nakkila, Finland.
Nevalainen played four straight seasons in Liiga before heading to Norway last year to play for Frisk Asker.
After a glittering junior career, Nevalainen headed to the United States to play first for Debuque Fighting Saints in the USHL before playing four seasons with St Cloud State University where he turned out 136 times.
Fox commented “Niklas is an excellent two-way Defenseman coming off an exceptional year in Norway. He finished 2nd in the League in Defenseman scoring while there. He also had 4 very strong seasons in the Liiga where he put up good numbers while playing a top 4 role.
“I believe he plays a very smart Defensive game and will be a great asset to our D core. Niklas skates very well and sees the ice at the highest level. He is excellent on his retrieval’s as we want to play with pace and he will be a guy who should really excel in that style”.
On joining the Steelers Nevalainen said “honestly the Steelers was the best combination for me both in terms of playing and my family life, it was an easy choice.
“I spoke with Matais Sointu who said the club and organisation had treated him and his family really well and that the Steelers were always chasing championships and had very competitive teams”.
Nevalainen admitted he wasn’t an expert on the British league but said “I don’t know that much about it other than the quality is excellent with many good players from all over the world. I believe it to be more North American with the US and Canadian coaches buts that ok with me, I played four years in the States, I know what to expect”
Steelers fans can expect a high end offensive defenseman as Niklas explained “I skate well, I like to join the rush and hold on to the puck for as long as possible so I can create offensive chances for my team mates
“I think they call it a pass first mentality but I like to think I can contribute in all situations offensively and defensively”