The Adelaide Adrenaline, proudly presented by Hards Transport, are thrilled to announce that import Canadian goalie Tyler Steel has signed with the club.
Steel will come to Adelaide from the SPHL's Huntsville Havoc where he has posted a 2.76 goals against average and .913 save percentage.
Make no mistake - Steel has exceptional game breaking ability. In December 2016 he went 6-0 with a save percentage of 0.946 and earned the honour of being named the Bauer SPHL Player of the Month.
In front of Steel the Havoc recorded their best season ever and are currently in the first round of the SPHL Playoffs. Steel will join the club once the SPHL playoffs end and be one of five overseas imports playing for the Adrenaline this year.
Steel will work in partnership with Adelaide goalie Pete King who played in all 28 games last year.
Adrenaline head coach Sami Mantere says a lot of thought was given into bringing over an import goalie. He says there is "no chance" the Adrenaline will be able to win a championship this season without regular, consistent play from the fan-favourite Pete King.
"We need Petey to win us games this season. Pete will be getting the bulk of the starts in the early stages of the season. If he gets hot, he'll keep playing," he says. "He's a quality goalie."
"But we had a unique opportunity to bring in one of the best goalies in the SPHL and we decided to take it," Mantere adds. "I think Pete and Tyler will form a formidable combination. I think we will need two reliable goalies to win and I think we have them."
The Adrenaline goalies will be sponsored this season by local hockey fan and massive supporter of the game Shane Manhire.
Club president Eric Balnar says bringing in an import goalie adds a lot of flexibility - especially when you have "five or six" contracted imports who can raise the level of the game.
"If we have no injuries we will have four import skaters and one import goalie this season. When Pete starts we will have four import skaters on the ice. When Tyler starts the three best playing imports will suit up," says Balnar.
"Ideally we find that killer combination that gives us the best chance to win come September," he says.
Plus with reigning MVP Wehebe Darge up front with new Aussie Citizen and former Czech international Josef Rezek the Adrenaline look to be one of the deepest outfits in the league.
Despite being just 24-years-old, Steel comes with a rich hockey history.
He is a native of Vernon, British Columbia in Canada which is a town of just over 40,000 people. Steel played three seasons of Junior A Hockey with the Merrit Centennials in the BCHL, just under 200km from his hometown.
He was named MVP in the Centennial's 2012-13 season where he had a standout save percentage of 0.916.
Steel then went to play three years of NCAA Div. 1 hockey for Brown University where he suited up next to a number of players that went on to play in the NHL, AHL and SPHL.
“Hockey’s given me so many opportunities," he says. "I was on a scholarship and it gave me the opportunity to keep playing and extend my hockey career while getting an Ivy League education.”
Now he is enjoying his time in a professional league which he says is different to the NCAA.
"College hockey is much more ‘run and gun.’ The pro game is more structured and more physical, but not necessarily as fast," says Steel. "Game management is a big thing. Slowing down the game is important and getting chances to change the lines and get the team a breather, or to create better match-ups.”
Steel says his professional season with the Havoc has given him a lot more confidence heading into the AIHL year.
Steel describes himself as, “an intense person in general,” but “quite a calm goalie." His ability to defend the net and his presence on the ice has made him one to watch in Huntsville.
He says he plans to bring the same mindset to Adelaide.
"I'll bring stability, consistency, and hopefully help Adelaide win a Championship. I’m a driven guy, and comfortable with leading by example, on and off the ice. I love to win.”
Although Tyler is not expected to join the team until May, you can still catch the Adrenaline when their season starts on April 22 at the IceArenA.