Sheffield Steelers 2022-23 Roster: Signings, Quotes & More

Jonathan Phillips, Sheffield Steelers (Image: Dean Woolley)
Jonathan Phillips, Sheffield Steelers (Image: Dean Woolley)

It was a case of ‘so close, yet so far’ for the Sheffield Steelers last season. They finished the campaign trophy-less, with a mid-season wobble derailing their title challenge.

However, Sheffield approach the autumn with renewed energy and in high spirits. With Aaron Fox behind the bench, they remain in the hunt for silverware and are expected to be in the mix with the Cardiff Devils and Belfast Giants at the Elite League’s summit.

Related: Belfast Giants 2022-23 Roster: Signings, Quotes & More

There are plenty of familiar faces on the Steelers’ 2022-23 roster, including Robert Dowd, Jonathan Phillips, and Sam Jones.

But Sheffield won’t be rolling out an identical roster to last season. Talismanic scorer Marc-Olivier Vallerand has departed, joining HK Olimpija Ljubljana of the ICEHL and Champions Hockey League.

Make no mistake, Steelers fans are in for an interesting summer.

Sheffield Steelers 2022-23 Roster: Confirmed Signings

Last updated at 10:05 on Tuesday, 9 August; bookmark this page to stay up-to-date with Sheffield’s latest signings.

Goaltenders

The Steelers are yet to unveil their tandem for next season, with Rok Stojanovic joining Cracovia Krakow and Barry Brust still unsigned.

Defencemen

New Signings:

Sébastien Piché is an experienced defender with a track-record for producing points from the blueline. He registered 26 points (six goals, 20 assists) in 45 ICE Hockey League appearances for HK Olimipija Ljubljana last season.

  • Age: 34
  • Nation(s): Canada
  • Height / Weight: 6-foot a\ 201lbs
  • Shoots: Left

Niklas Nevalainen: a smart, two-way defender with experience in the NCAA, Finland’s Liiga, and Norway’s Fjordkraft-Ligaen, Nevalainen plays a “very smart defensive game” according to Fox. He registered 37 points (six goals, 31 assists) in 42 appearances for Frisk Asker last season and is set to feature in Sheffield’s top four.

  • Age: 29
  • Nation(s): Finland
  • Height / Weight: 5-foot-9 / 181lbs
  • Shoots: Left
Steelers 2022-23 roster | Niklas Nevalainen, formerly St. Cloud Huskies (Image: St. Cloud University)
Niklas Nevalainen, formerly St. Cloud Huskies (Image: St. Cloud University)

Matt Petgrave: Born in Toronto, Petgrave split last season between the Czech and Slovak Extraligas. Ge registered 29 points (nine goals, 20 assists) in 34 games for Spisska Nova Ves.

  • Age: 30
  • Nation(s): Canada
  • Height: 6-foot-1
  • Shoots: Left

Returning Players:

Sam Jones, Two-Year Contract: after breaking into Team GB, Jones will once again suit up for the Steelers. He contributed 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) in 54 appearances last term, underscoring his defence-first approach and suitability for third-pair deployment.

  • Age: 24
  • Nation(s): Great Britain/Canada
  • Height / Weight: 6-foot-2 / 190 lbs
  • Shoots: Right

David Phillips: born in Hull, Phillips is an Elite League stalwart. He’s already made 616 appearances in the UK’s top flight and has been a Sheffield Steeler since 2016. Like Jones, he is set to feature on Sheffield’s second- or third-pairs.

  • Age: 34
  • Nation(s): Great Britain
  • Height / Weight: 6-foot-3 / 194 lbs
  • Shoots: Right

Kevin Schulze: a member of the Steelers’ inner circle, Schulze is a powerplay specialist and will once again quarterback Sheffield’s top man-advantage unit. Confirming the American’s return, Fox said: “I think Kevin sees the ice extremely well, has a great stick defensively and can close out extremely well.”

  • Age: 29
  • Nation(s): USA
  • Height / Weight: 5-foot-10 / 174 lbs
  • Shoots: Left

Forwards

New Signings:

Daniel Ciampini: 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.

  • Age: 31
  • Nation(s): Canada
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Role: Right/Left Wing
  • Shoots: Left

Brandon McNally: McNally joins Sheffield from the Cardiff Devils and will inject physicality into the Steelers line-up.

“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 the Italian international’s arrival.

  • Age: 30
  • Nation(s): Italy/USA
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Role: Left/Right Wing
  • Shoots: Left

Mason Mitchell: Following six seasons in the ECHL, Mitchell will dress in the Elite League for the first time this fall. He registered 15 assists (seven goals, eight assists) in 29 games for the Idaho Steelheads last term.

  • Age: 28
  • Nation(s): Canada
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Role: Left Wing
  • Shoots: Left

Brett Neumann: A former teammate of Belfast Giants forward Scott Conway, Neumann joins Sheffield after an impressive junior career and promising start to his life as a professional. He made 25 appearances in the ECHL last season, registering 16 points (eight goals, eight assists).

  • Age: 23
  • Nation(s): Canada
  • Height: 5’9″
  • Role: Centre
  • Shoots: Right

Scott Allen: a player in demand, the Steelers fought-off competition from other Elite League clubs to secure Allen’s signature. And it’s easy to see why. His record in the German second tier jumps off the page (161 points in 159 games), which is boosted by his physical edge.

“His compete level and work rate is something you really notice when you dissect his game. He never quits on plays and always battling for space,” said Fox. “Scott is outstanding as a goal line/net-front guy on the powerplay and likes to get to the dirty areas. I think he will come in and be a difference maker from day one.”

  • Age: 32
  • Nation(s): Canada
  • Height / Weight: 6-foot-3 / 198 lbs
  • Role: Centre/Left Wing
  • Shoots: Left
Scott Allen, formerly EHC Freiburg (Image: EHC Freiburg)
Scott Allen, formerly EHC Freiburg (Image: EHC Freiburg)

Adam Raska: for the first time in his career, Raska will play outside his native Czechia next season. However, his record on the continent is impressive and he arrives in Sheffield with Fox’s stamp of approval: “Adam is joining us from a very good league, he is defensively responsible and accountable, you have to be to play there.”

  • Age: 27
  • Nation(s): Czechia
  • Height / Weight: 5-foot-11 / 187 lbs
  • Role: Centre/Left Wing
  • Shoots: Left

Returning Players:

Brendan Connolly: if not for Connolly’s knee injury in the final weeks of the season, would the Steelers have tasted victory champagne last time out? We’ll never know, but we do know that the Team GB veteran is back for another year in Yorkshire. In light of his injury, the Alberta-born forward is likely to start 2022-23 on the third line.

  • Age: 36
  • Nation(s): Great Britain / Canada
  • Height / Weight: 5-foot-8 / 181 lbs
  • Role: Centre
  • Shoots: Left

Robert Dowd, Two-Year Contract: effective on both wings, Dowd produced offence at a point-per-game rate last season and has shown no signs of slowing down. He will continue to operate in Sheffield’s top six as a result.

  • Age: 34
  • Nation(s): Great Britain
  • Height / Weight: 5-foot-10 / 176 lbs
  • Role: Right or Left Wing
  • Shoots: Right

Martin Latal: after amassing 49 points (21 goals, 28 assists) in 50 games last term, Latal is back for more. Fox is “extremely happy” to have the Czech forward back for another year, calling him “a player with next-level speed that can change a game in a hurry.” Speedy.

  • Age: 34
  • Nation(s): Czechia
  • Height / Weight: 5-foot-10 / 181 lbs
  • Role: Right Wing
  • Shoots: Left

Evan Mosey: born in Illinois, Mosey has competed in the Netherlands, Denmark, France, and the USA. Before joining the Steelers in 2021-22, he represented the Nottingham Panthers and Cardiff Devils. He put up 45 points (17 goals, 28 assists) last season.

  • Age: 33
  • Nation(s): Great Britain / USA
  • Height / Weight: 5-foot-11 / 185 lbs
  • Role: Forward/Defenceman
  • Shoots: Right

Jonathan Phillips: captain fantastic is back; was there ever any doubt? He registered 10 points (three goals, seven assists) last time out and is expected to reprise his role in the Steelers’ bottom six.

  • Age: 40
  • Nation(s): Great Britain
  • Height / Weight: 5-foot-11 / 181 lbs
  • Role: Right Wing
  • Shoots: Right
Jonathan Phillips earned his record-breaking 111th cap in Team GB's loss to Austria (Image: Dean Woolley)
Jonathan Phillips captained Team GB at the 2022 IIHF World Championship (Image: Dean Woolley)

Brandon Whistle, Two-Year Contract: rewarded for his efforts in 2021-22 with a two-year deal, Whistle is a centreman on the rise.

“I think he’s a player I can really trust to give me a solid effort every night and I’m very happy we could agree on a new two-year agreement keeping him in Orange,” Fox explained. “I’m expecting him to take another leap this year and continue to get better”

  • Age: 24
  • Nation(s): Great Britain / Canada
  • Height / Weight: 6-foot-1 / 205 lbs
  • Role: Centre
  • Shoots: Right

Two-Way Players

Jordan McLaughlin, Netminder:

  • Age: 22
  • Nation(s): Great Britain
  • Catches: Left
  • Secondary Club: Hull Seahawks (NHL)

Curtis Warburton, Netminder:

  • Age: 20
  • Nation(s): Great Britain
  • Catches: Left
  • Secondary Club: Hull Seahawks (NIHL)

2021-22 Sheffield Steelers at a Glance

League Position and Record: 2nd, 37-10-7

Playoff Performance: Lost in quarter-finals to the Dundee Stars

Leading Scorer: Marc-Olivier Vallerand, 59 points (26 goals, 33 assists) in 45 games

Challenge Cup Performance: Lost in semi-finals to the Cardiff Devils

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