Sheffield Steelers bide their time over three Swedish centremen

Markus Nilsson
Markus Nilsson

Sheffield Steelers’ boss Paul Thompson expects competition for Markus Nilsson’s services from his home town club.

And the head coach has yet to tie down another invaluable Swedish centreman Andreas Valdix.

Andreas Valdix scores

Andreas Valdix scores

Both men returned home after helping Steelers win the Play Offs.

Sheffield want them back, but the coach knows that other suitors are circling around the pair, both in Europe and in the Elite League.

“They both fit into our plans and the way we like to play” said Thompson, who is spending hours, most days, studying the player market on two continents.

“If Andreas and Markus don’t return we would want players like them, players who have the same outstanding qualities.

“Both these men have great attitude, always display good puck management and are very good skaters.

“We have spoken to them both after the season ended and at this stage both sides seem to want organise return, but it is very early, agents will be involved and we haven’t got down to the budget details.

“Nilsson’s home town club (Troja/Ljungby IF) has just got promoted to the Allsvenskan (second tier) so it is entirely possible they will be in for him, but we will see. We will be speaking to them both throughout the Summer and keep our eyes peeled for opportunities.”

Nilsson was a surprise asset last year - he was cast in the role of a fourth line centreman, but made such an impact that he was promoted to the Mathieu Roy and Colton Fretter formation.

There remains also the question over whether another Swede, Yared Hagos will return. The 34-year-old played 43 games for Steelers last season and let nobody down.