TOM BARRASSO is convinced new signing Anthony Deluca will be an ideal fit for the ‘outstanding’ work ethic he is fostering at Sheffield Steelers.
The 23-year-old winger arrived in South Yorkshire in the early hours of yesterday morning in time to practice with his new team-mates at Sheffield Arena as they prepare for Saturday’s clash at the venue against Guildford Flames.
Deluca joins a Steelers team slowly turning around a tough start to their 2018-19 Elite League campaign, with Saturday’s 4-0 home win over Dundee Stars extending their winning streak to three games, their best run of the campaign so far. “We are excited to have Anthony with us,” said Barrasso. “Our team is developing an outstanding work ethic. We are starting to play a fast puck possession game. Anthony has experienced playing this style of hockey and we are confident that he will fit right in with us.”
A prolific junior career with Rimouski Oceanic in the QMJHL preceded him turning pro in 2015 when he split his time between Wichita Thunder and Alaska Aces in the ECHL. A season back at university with Concordia saw him post an impressive 49 points, including 27 goals, in just 34 games before he moved to Denmark to join Frederikshavn White Hawks for the 2017-18 campaign.
After another impressive points haul saw him post 15 goals and 24 assists in 51 games, DeLuca found himself back in the ECHL with Brampton Beast, while also playing a couple of games for Thetford Mines Asssurancia in the LNAH.
Deluca admitted the lure of playing under two-time Stanley Cup winner Barrasso was a deciding factor in him agreeing terms to join the Steelers.
“I was hoping to return to Europe in the summer but the right deal just didn’t come along,” said the Canadian. “I went to the ECHL which was a nice experience, but the aim was always to get back over to Europe.
“Then when you get a call from your agent saying Tom Barrasso is interested in you, well you get excited. He is a Pittsburgh legend and to know someone like him is interested in signing you, well, right away you feel you want to come over and play for him and the club.
“We did some research on Sheffield and liked what we found out, what we heard was all good so doing the deal was quick.”
The Steelers have been drawn against Guildford in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup.
The first leg will be staged at Sheffield Arena on Wednesday, December 12, with the return leg taking place at Guildford’s Spectrum rink a week later.
Tom Barrasso is a Pittsburgh legend and to know someone like him is interested in signing you, well, right away you feel you want to come over and play for him and the club.Anthony DeLuca