Signing news: Storm, Steelers and Stars re-inforce

Jonas Liwing has joined Sheffield Steelers (PHOTO: Andreas Sandström/Bildbryån)

The signing news in the Elite League has picked up pace with three teams announcing additions to their roster for 2019/20.

Sheffield Steelers have added some blue line strength with the capture of experienced defenceman Jonas Liwing, who joins from Swedish Allsvenskan side Vasteras IK.

The 35-year-old has over 700 games experiences in the top two tiers of Swedish hockey and has played in France, Austria and Germany as well.

And he was pleased to accept the offer of a new challenge after receiving certain assurances from head coach Aaron Fox.

“I was ready for a new challenge after the last two years in Sweden,” he told the Steelers website. “It’s time for a new experience.

“I spoke some of the other Swedish players that have payed for the club and they told me Sheffield was the place to play, with the arena, organisation and especially the fans.

“When I then spoke with Aaron, we agreed a deal. I think it’s a great fit for me and I’m confident of bring a great fit for the Steelers too.

“I told him I wanted to come to a place where we could win and he assured me that this is what he was building a team to do.”

Dundee Stars made their first new signing of the summer with the capture of netminder Alex Leclerc, who joins from ECHL side Utah Grizzlies.

Alex Leclerc has signed for Dundee Stars (PHOTO: Colorado College)

The 24-year-old is making his first move abroad and finished last season in Utah after leaving Colorado College, with whom he played in the NCAA.

After signing on the dotted line, head coach Omar Pacha says he’s saw similarities with a former Stars goalie, who proved to be a big success.

“There were a lot of options for goalies and for me I always want a goalie that is hungry, who wants to improve and I thought Pontus Sjögren did great for us last year,” he told the Dundee Stars website.

“Alex is a guy that has that potential to be a standout goalie and he is driven.  While only 24 he’s played a lot of NCAA games, so is used to long-travel and that will benefit him here.

“He has always been a guy that won positions and likes adversity and last year he faced the most shots in all of the NCAA.

“He kind of reminds me of a guy like Dan Bakala and is really quick around the net and he goes from side-to-side as fast as any goalie I have ever seen.

“Leclerc is a guy that wants to be here and wants to help this organisation grow and he wants to be not only a good goalie but a great goalie, he wants to be the best and he is challenging himself and that is great to hear.”

Also in the netminding department, Manchester Storm announced the return of Adam Long, who will back up Matt Ginn in what will be his first full season.

Long arrived to replace Declan Ryan and has NIHL experience, having iced for Peterborough Phantoms, Hull Pirates and Invicta Dynamos, with whom he signed a two-way deal after Ryan’s departure.

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