Steelers strengthen their rearguard

American ‘D’ man Mike Ratchuk has signed for Sheffield Steelers.

Ratchuk was a 2nd round NHL draft pick for the Philadelphia Flyers in 2006 and has played over 400 games in the AHL and ECHL during his career.

Head Coach Paul Thompson said: “Mike is a highly skilled defenseman – he will give us great mobility on the back end.

“His strength is his skating, he is good on the puck and will support the rush.

“I think he will be as mobile as any ‘D’ man in the league. He is smooth and decisive and I believe his style of play is something we need – he will give us a new dimension.

“I like the fact that he has won before as well. He was part of the Florida side alongside Mathieu Roy that won the ECHL championship.

“I spoke with Mathieu as part of the recruitment – he was very complimentary about his former teammate.

“More than ever this summer I’ve tried to look for specifics – looking at the kind of player that perhaps we didn’t have last year and then go and find him.

“I think we all know our powerplay from time to time didn’t fire as we would have liked.

“Mike has played the powerplay his whole career and it’s one area I’m sure he will be able to assist us with.”

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