Sheffield Steelers will continue their wooing of Fredrick Vestberg into the Summer.
Coach Paul Thompson is keen to award a second year contract to the consistent forward, who has made such an impression in his first year in British hockey.
Vestberg has issues back home in Sweden to sort out first, and will make his decision post-season.
Asked about the chances of a return, he said: “I like it here. I don’t know, we have to go home to Sweden, think and sort a couple of things out. Maybe I come back next year. We’ll see. The League is really good, the guys in the locker room says that the League is the best ever. The crowd is amazing. We have a really good team. It is great.”
Vestberg is not a huge goal-scorer. But his smooth skating, transition from defence to attack and eye for a smart pass are recognised by Thompson and team-mates. The coach also paid tribute to the team’s other Swede Conny Stromberg.
“They brought a terrific dynamic to the team, such a different style. Vestberg has been a phenomenal player. One of the best in the League. Conny is crazy - we really like him! He is 40 but has the passion of someone half his age. He came in as injury cover but has been so much more than that. Together they have brought such a different flavour to the team.”
D-man Ben O’Connor added of Vestberg: “I said to my dad at the start of the season he going to fly under radar and be one of our best players.
“To play at that high level in the Allsvenskan, for so long, you have got to be good. He helps out defensively, chips in with some key goals and assists. He’s not flashy, he is not going to stand out and do amazing things, he does all the little things right, he’s in the right places, he finds those soft pockets. Speak to any hockey-minded person, he is technically unbelievable. He is very good at finding those areas with outlet passes in the d-zone. And you see it on the Power Play when he skates the puck.
“He makes it look so nonchalant the way he skates by guys. We joke that if we tried to do that, we’d break our ankles!”