Steelers sign experienced Finnish ‘D’ man

Sheffield Steelers have confirmed the signing of Finnish defender Joonas Ronnberg from Storhamar in Norway.

The 34-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the Steelers’ roster having previously played at the top level in Finland, Sweden and Germany.

Ronnberg said: “It’s a new chapter in my hockey life and one I can’t wait to start.

“As a player I am a defensive minded defenseman. I like to stop other teams scoring – that’s my job and that’s what I’ve done wherever I have played.

“I can make a good first pass but my main object is to break up plays, defend, block shots and box out.

“The Elite League is being talked about a lot more and I know many players who have experienced England and spoke well of their time there.”

Steelers’ boss Paul Thompson added: “Joonas ticks all the boxes for the kind of defender I’m looking for. We needed to get bigger at the back and with Mark Matheson and Joins joining us we have done just that.

“I also was looking for some more experience back there and again both of the signings we have made to our ‘D’ core bring that.

“Joonas is big and strong and loves to stop people from playing. In fact, the first thing he said to me was ‘I’m not the man to run your powerplay’ which was good as I have guys who can do that.

“I think we have a guy who enjoys shutting down other top players. He plays with an edge and has done so at the very top level of European hockey.

He made a massive difference to the Storhamar side last year when he joined an eighth place team, he led them to third in the standings. I spoke with fellow players and coaches of that side who were really impressed with him.

“I think he is a great fit for us.”

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