The Sheffield Steelers have completed a triple signing, as head coach Aaron Fox adds the finishing touches to his 2022-23 roster.
Daniel Ciampini, Brett Neumann, and Brandon McNally will dress for the South Yorkshire club this season, with Fox expressing his delight at the move.
“I’m delighted with this trio,” Fox told SheffieldSteelers.co.uk, “I think we have an exciting and balanced forward line-up.”
Daniel Ciampini Signs on the Dotted Line
Ciampini arrives in Sheffield with an impressive résumé. The 31-year-old spent five seasons bouncing between the AHL and ECHL, producing offence at a point-per-game rate in his final season in North America with the ECHL’s Brampton Beast.
Before entering the professional ranks, the versatile winger starred in the NCAA for Union College, recording 118 points (63 goals, 55 assists) in 131 appearances. He has plied his trade in Europe since 2019-20, enjoying productive campaigns in the ICEHL, Czech Extraliga, and Fjordkraft-Ligaen.
“Ciampini is going to come in and be a guy who we expect to be a top player for us,” Fox said of the Canadian.
“He was second in league scoring in Austria in 2020-21 and top three in Norway the year before that. Daniel plays a very skilled all-around game, skates well, competes hard and can make his teammates around him better.
“Daniel went to the Czech Extraliga last season and had an early injury; when he got healthy his team were out of contention, so he returned to ICEHL for the remainder of the year. He’s coming to help us achieve our goals and is excited to get back to scoring and being that difference-maker.”
Ciampini added: “I haven’t won a lot in my career and it was important I was coming to a contender, somewhere I can come in and help make a difference. Sheffield has that tradition.”
Brett Neumann Joins from Orli Znojmo
Neumann, a former teammate of Belfast Giants forward Scott Conway, joins Sheffield after an impressive junior career and promising start to his life as a professional.
The 23-year-old split last season between USports and the ICEHL, registering seven points (three goals, four assists) in seventeen appearances for Saint Mary’s University and Orli Znojmo.
Neumann, a 5’9” centreman, made 25 appearances in the ECHL during his first professional season, registering 16 points (eight goals, eight assists).
“Brett is a dynamic forward who plays with great quickness and is excellent in tight areas,” said Fox.
“He’s got a great shot and is a very unselfish offensive player. Brett’s a natural centre but he can also play all three forward positions. I think he will come in and run some big numbers for us.
“Brett is young and extremely motivated to come in and be a top-end guy and contributor for us this year. If you look at his last year in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), which was the same last year [Liam] Kirk was there, the numbers he put up were outstanding.”
Neumann split his OHL career between the Erie Otters, Kingston Frontenacs, and Oshawa Generals, recording 244 points (128 goals, 116 assists) in 318 appearances.
In 2019-20, his final junior campaign – albeit as an over-age player, he notched 83 points (45 goals, 38 assists) in 62 games for the Generals.
The Canadian added: “I think people would say that my main feature is my speed and energy, I create space and can jump into holes. I’d like to think my work ethic is my plus though, I love to compete, and I think all fans appreciate that”
Brandon McNally Rounds Out Steelers’ Triple Signing
McNally joins Sheffield from the Cardiff Devils.
The 6’2” forward recorded 19 points (12 goals, seven assists) in 37 Elite League appearances last season, before recording three points (one goal, two assists) in seven games at the IIHF World Championship for Italy.
“Brandon is no stranger to the league and I don’t think we could have found a better guy to play a role and give us something we have lacked in previous years,” Fox said of his latest signing.
“I don’t believe in bringing in one-dimensional guys and his willingness to stick up for his teammates and answer the bell came second to me when watching his game back. Before his injury, he was playing key minutes and contributing for Cardiff at both ends of the ice.
“Brandon is big, skates well and, when engaged, an extremely effective player. I had many conversations with him and there isn’t a guy coming in with a bigger chip on their shoulder and more excited to get started.”
McNally added: “You play the role that’s given you. In Cardiff, they wanted a fourth-line guy, so that’s what I did. In Italy, they needed a first-line guy, and I did pretty well there, scoring 50 points in Vipiteno. I think Aaron knows he is getting an experienced and versatile guy that will do whatever is asked of him.”
McNally’s record includes time in the ECHL, AHL, Alps Hockey League, and NCAA. He enjoyed his most productive season in 2018-19, recording 50 points (16 goals, 34 assists) in 39 appearances for Italian side Vipiteno.
The Steelers are expected to announce their final signings, a defenceman and their starting goaltender, next week.
2022-23 Elite League Signing Updates:
It’s signing season in the Elite League; stay up to date with all the latest transactions through British Ice Hockey’s team-by-team guides:
- Cardiff Devils 2022-23 Roster: Signings, Quotes & More
- Belfast Giants 2022-23 Roster: Signings, Quotes & More
- Sheffield Steelers 2022-23 Roster: Signings, Quotes & More
- Coventry Blaze 2022-23 Roster: Signings, Quotes & More
- Nottingham Panthers 2022-23 Roster: Signings, Quotes & More
- Manchester Storm 2022-23 Roster: Signings, Quotes & More
Pages for the Guildford Flames, Dundee Stars, Glasgow Clan, and Fife Flyers will be released shortly. Follow @BritIceHockey for updates.