Sheffield Steelers have confirmed the return of popular forward Tanner Eberle ahead of the Elite Series campaign.
The 27-year-old will make his return to the club just over a year since he last played competitive hockey and will join up with Aaron Fox’s men for the competition later in the month.
And coach Fox is hopeful the competition will help get Eberle back and ready for a possible new campaign in September after 12 months out because of the pandemic.
“I’m looking forward to getting Tanner back for this series,” Fox said.“He was such a huge part of our success last year and hasn’t played at all since then.
“I think this five weeks is super important for him as a player to knock the rust off and hopefully get ready for September.
Tanner Returns home… pic.twitter.com/bBXvhTXE5D
— Sheffield Steelers | #2021EliteSeries (@steelershockey) March 19, 2021
“He can play any forward position, he can kill penalties, be a great net front powerplay guy and lays it on the line every single night.
“‘Ebz’ is the type of player that all winning teams have on it and I’ll have to ease him into it to get his legs back but he’s assured me he’s in shape and ready to roll.”
Eberle was signed by previous Steelers coach Paul Thompson in 2018, signing from Jacksonville IceMen and helped Steelers win the Challenge Cup last year prior to the coronavirus shutdown.
To date, he’s played 108 games for Steelers, where he’s scored 30 times and assisted in a further 41 goals for 71 points.
“I’m excited to be back for Sheffield for the Elite Series,” he said in a short video recorded for fans. “It’s going to be a lot of fun and very competitive.
“I’d love to have the fans cheering us on, but you’ll need to do it through the live stream and I know we’re counting on you to tune in.”