Colton Fretter may have had his last season wrecked by injury.
But he is determined this year will be different - and he is already making his stamp on Sheffield Steelers’ class of 2016-17.
The side were routed 8-1 by Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions Hockey League last weekend and The Star understands he was the most vocal member of the team in the behind-closed-doors inquest.
Fretter - who missed 39 games last season - told his team-mates they had all got to learn very quickly from the humbling experience and that they had to prove they were a team that could drive forwards following an adversity of such a scale.
The Canadian’s no-nonsense stance was embraced by dressing room colleagues, who take on HV71, of Sweden, at home on Saturday.
Progression from the group stage of the CHL now looks extremely unlikely but a win this weekend would trigger a new wave of optimism.
Captian Jonathan Phillips said: “We were all disappointed after the loss on Saturday – but not for one second does it change my mind about the group we have here. The Red Bull game came a week or two too early. We gave our all against HV71 and took them to the wire on the Thursday. Then to play a team like Red Bull two days later after an 11 hour travel day in between was a step too far this early in. We have been together for a fortnight, they’ve been together six weeks. I like our group, I like the mix and get a good feel for the room. I think we jelled pretty well considering there are nine new faces.”
Phillips added: “On Saturday we have an incredible opportunity to create history and become the first British side to beat an SHL team, we were ten minutes away on Thursday, put it into perspective, we had been on the ice eight times before that game.
“Now we have another game and another week on the ice under our belt.
“We took Frolunda deep into the third period last year, why cant we go one better on Saturday with HV71? Let’s make the next step and show these teams that we are good as well.”
* Title-winning Steeler Russ Moyer, 34, has joined Fife Flyers.
“I feel that we can be a team that should be competing at the top of the standings throughout the season,” he said.
“I’m excited for the opportunity in Fife and I’m very optimistic that we can have a very successful season with the group that is coming to the club.
“I have been on three championship-winning teams in the past four seasons and look forward to contributing and building on that.”