Steeldogs coach Greg Wood found his recent plans to challenge title chasing Milton Keynes undone by a rash of illness and injuries that denied him the services of first choice ne minder James Hadfield, experienced D-man Tim Smith along with forwards Macaulay Heywood and Cam Brownley.
Added to the player/coach’s own continued absence and speedy forward Liam Charnock being away representing GB Universities in Kazakhstan, it blew a hole in his plans. However, with two home games this weekend, the squad looks a lot healthier and there will be a new Dog to bolster the defence.
Lewis Baldwin started the season with the Manchester Phoenix and while other clubs swooped to sign the experienced talent following their demise, 17 year old Lewis fitted with the Steeldogs ambition to provide an opportunity for young talent.
And the Billingham born defenceman is amongst the best prospects around – earning him a place in the Great Britain under-18s squad for April’s World Championships, where he’ll play alongside Liam Kirk.
Greg Wood is clear about the value that his new player will bring; “I am really excited about the signing of Lewis. He is a very talented young defenceman who needs the opportunity to play and gain experience at this level. His mobility is a real asset and with a bit of extra playing experience, I think he can develop in to a very good British D-man.
“With the season closing out its essential we strengthen and build for the future – Lewis is certainly part of that plan. As a club we are doing everything to build a solid base of young players that we can use for years to come. At the start of the season we knew this would be a transition season with so many changes, we're still in that phase but we are trying to build, week in, week out”.
He’ll make his debut at iceSheffield on Saturday against the Peterborough Phantoms (7:30 face-off) before another home game on Sunday against Danny Meyers and the Guildford Flames (face-off 5:30). This game will include the Steeldogs Teddy Bear Toss in support of the Sheffield Childrens’ Hospital.