IT IS a case of ‘as you were’ for Sheffield Steelers centre John Armstrong, who is beginning to fully blossom in his latest surroundings.
The softly-spoken 28-year-old Canadian has upped the ante in terms of his points production in recent weeks, scoring four goals in last weekend’s two wins against Coventry Blaze, taking his points tally for the season to six goals and four assists in 11 appearances since making the switch to South Yorkshire in the summer following a season in Denmark.
But while Armstrong has quietly gone about his business, head coach Paul Thompson insists he has been more than happy with the 2006 round three Calgary Flames draft pick ever since he first set foot on the Sheffield Arena ice back in August.
“I think he’s been consistently good since he came here, but I just think now he is being consistently good at a higher level,” said Thompson ahead of this weekend’s Scottish double header which sees his team travel to Edinburgh Capitals tonight before heading further north to face Dundee Stars tomorrow.
“I really think he’s moving his feet now, he’s a big unit, he’s a big man but he’s a skilled guy and he can make great plays and can score great goals.
“He fits in nicely with Jesse Schultz and Mathieu Roy and they make a pretty dynamic line at the moment, one that has a little bit of everything.
“But John is someone who should be talked about because he’s been very, very strong in these past few weeks and I really feel he is finding his gear right now and showing everybody what he’s about.”
Thompson admitted there may been a period of adjustment for Armstrong following his switch after a season with Odense Bulldogs which followed a year in Norway with Lillehammer, but nothing that wouldn’t be quickly overcome.
“He’s come here from Denmark which is a different kind of style of hockey, whereas the Elite League is a more North American style of play, I mean in terms of the personnel so he has to get used to that style of play again,” added Thompson.
“I like what he’s brought into this team all season to be honest, but I like the level he’s at right now and that is the level I want him to stay at.”