Yared Hagos, a Swedish born centre of Ethiopian heritage, will take the import slot vacated by Denmark-bound Tyler Mosienko.
The new 33 year old 6’1 forward has a background in the AHL, Swedish SHL and German DEL where he played last season.
“We were very fortunate to pick up such a quality player at short notice” said coach Paul Thompson. “We tried to bring Yared to Sheffield in the Summer but he was hoping for a return to Germany. That move didn’t come off and he was happy to accept our advances.
“He has played at an incredibly high level and might be the first Swede to play of us who has played for his country at all age levels including 20 games for the senior team.
“We are getting a competitive centre who I hope will be able to take care of business at both ends of the rink.
Hagos described the move as “a great opportunity.”
He said: “Playing in Sheffield excites me, it’s a new challenge. Having a few Swedes on the team helped make up my mind. They are quality players and have given the league and Steelers a Swedish seal of approval.”
Hagos described himself as a “good two way player. I try and help the team win. If the coach wants me to be offensive I’d like to think I can score goals. If he wants me to help shut down other teams I’m equally as happy doing that – just as long as we win.”
Hagos, who scored 11 points in 45 games last season for Krefeld, will make his Steelers debut at Edinburgh and Dundee.
Meanwhile Zack Fitzgerald says Mosienko leaves big shoes to fill.
“He was a good player, we wanted him here. At the end of the day you have to think about your family. I am assuming that’s what he did. It happens a lot in this game, not as much in this league but in previous leagues I’ve played in.
“The timing is a little tough. But it is really early in the season, it is not like we are doing bad.
“It sucks that we lose him now, he is a heartbeat and puts a lot of points up.”
Fitzgerald said it was “not a good feeling” to think the player had been examining his options while playing for the club, occasionally at times when there were other, injured players giving their all.
“It gets you thinking a little bit, for sure. You wonder what was going through his mind but at the same time we have had a really good run and it was not detrimental.”