The Sheffield Steelers made a vital addition to their blueline on Saturday [19 November], announcing the arrival of puck-moving defenceman Dominic Cormier.
The Canadian arrives in the Elite League with a wealth of professional experience after stints in the American Hockey League, ECHL, Slovak Extraliga, and Norwegian Eliteserien.
Prior to inking his first full-time deal, the 25-year-old spent four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League before representing the University of Ottawa through a single season at the collegiate level.
Who is Sheffield Steelers defenceman Dominic Cormier?
Cormier is a competent defender with standout puck-moving qualities dating back to his time as an associate captain for the Victoriaville Tigers.
The Moncton-born blueliner graduated from major junior hockey with 132 points (30 goals, 102 assists) in 259 appearances and continued his impressive offensive production by notching 35 points (16 goals, 19 assists) in his first full season as a professional.
Cormier split last season between the ECHL and Slovak Extraliga, potting 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 45 appearances for the Reading Royals before accumulating three points (one goal, two assists) in seven games for HC Banska Bystrica.
He started this season in Norway with Stjernen Hockey, but departed after scoring three points (one goal, two assists) in 15 Eliteserien appearances.
Where will Dominic Cormier play in the Sheffield Steelers’ lineup?
There is no time like the present for the Steelers, with head coach Aaron Fox immediately installing Cormier on his second pair alongside Kevin Tansey.
Tansey, who has excelled since his summer transfer to the Steelers, is a towering defenceman who relishes physical net-front battles but offers relatively little in the offensive zone. In other words, the Canadian is a defensive anchor who works best when paired with an intelligent puck-mover.
Cormier is just that. While he is adequate in his own end, the former Allen American thrives with the puck on his stick and will be expected to quarterback the breakout whenever he hits the ice on the second pair.
Fox will turn to Cormier in all situations, with the Canadian set to audition for a slot on Sheffield’s second powerplay and penalty-kill units.
Cormier debuted for the Steelers on Saturday, tallying a primary assist to Daniel Ciampini on the powerplay through 16:12 time on ice in a 5-1 win over the Belfast Giants.
He retrieved pucks smartly, was neat on the transition, and helped stifle what is usually an imposing offence.
“I thought he played really well,” Fox said of Cormier’s debut.
“He skates well, makes plays, and his powerplay unit was two-for-two. I really liked his game: he defended really hard and his skating ability sets him apart.”
While it is too soon to know whether Cormier will be a hit in Sheffield, the early indications are positive.