Guillaume Desbiens can’t wait to play again with a former team-mate who he believes could set the Elite League alight next season.
Jesse Schultz’s arrival at Sheffield Steelers will bring a new level of creativity and offensive opportunity, says the winger who played with him at Chicago Wolves in 2007-08. “Jesse is a very skilled player, he will add a little bit of everything” said the French Canadian, 31.
“He can shoot the puck well, he has some of the best hands I’ve seen. He can dangle and make some moves that I for sure can’t make, and most hockey players either. We won a championship together with Chicago in the AHL and we did have a few pints together after the championship - I am looking forward to do the same with him here again!”
One hockey website has described Scultz as “somewhat lacking in stature...isn’t very good defensively.” But the Steeler said the site was “great for statistics but as for scouting and hockey knowledge, it’s amateur at best. Jesse is by far better offensively than defensively but he is in no way weak or a liability in the d-zone.”
Desbiens has been on holiday in the Caribbean with his family to “relax and just forget about the routine and the daily grind.” But the forward is now preparing for his first full campaign with the UK champions.
“I work out with a group of pro hockey players and with my long time summer strength and conditioning coach, five or six times a week.”
Schultz won’t take long to blend into the surroundings in Sheffield. “Knowing guys like Guillaume, Tyler Mosienko, Colton Fretter and Zack Fitzgerald made the decision (to join) simpler” said the 33 year old. “I don’t know a lot about the league; there is always going to be an adjustment period – therefore having some familiar faces around will make the settling in process easier.”
Steelers’ coach Paul Thompson said Schultz was a quality player at AHL and ECHL levels and was hungry to come to a team that will compete for trophies.
He gives “a little bit of poise offensively” said the team boss.