Research pays off as McFadden signs up for Sheffield Steelers

Josh McFadden. Picture submitted.
Josh McFadden. Picture submitted.
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HAVING come straight out of university it seems only natural that Josh McFadden would put in the necessary research before making his next move.

It is such due diligence that has seen the 27-year-old defenceman put pen to paper on a deal with Sheffield Steelers for the 2018-19 season.

But the Steelers - going through an extensive rebuild this summer - are not getting some fresh-faced kid out of college taking his first steps in professional hockey because McFadden has already put in plenty of man-hours on the ice, both in the AHL and ECHL.

And before opting to resume his career in Europe after two years at university in Canada, McFadden studied for hard over his next move - eventually swayed, he says, by the honest and upfront approach of Steelers' head coach, Paul Thompson.

“I’d played pro before university and I wanted to get back to that pro hockey life," said McFadden, who between 2012-15 played 32 games in the AHL for San Antonio Rampage and made 152 ECHL appearances for the Cincinnatti Cyclones.

“I knew that would mean Europe and I was open-minded where the opportunities came from. Sheffield made the contact and I did my homework on them as I am sure they did theirs on me and the deal was done.

“Paul Thompson was straight, and upfront with me from the beginning. I found him approachable and honest. He told me about the club, the city and, of course, the fans. My own research had given me the same answers. The fit just seemed right."

Josh McFadden - picture submitted.

Josh McFadden - picture submitted.

Thompson, who hopes to unveil another new signing in the coming days, says the Steelers are gaining a major asset in McFadden who he believes - after two years at Ontario's University of Guelph - can aid his team's bid to close the gap on EIHL champions, Cardiff Devils.

“We’ve signed an experienced campaigner,” said Thompson. “Josh is still only 27 and has a great major junior career behind him with Sudbury Wolves where he was captain and the top-scoring defenceman.

"On and off the ice we believe we are getting a quality person and a player with a very high hockey IQ. He has good size and is in great shape, we’ve done a lot of work on him as a player and love some of the plays he is able to make.

"I expect him to be a big part of the club, log good minutes and certainly contribute on the power play. We believe we have signed a very good player here."