AARON JOHNSON will be handed “real responsibilities” in the forthcoming Elite League campaign after being appointed player assistant-coach at Sheffield Steelers.
The former NHL defenceman is one of just four imports to survive a summertime cull under new head coach-GM Aaron Fox, after a disappointing 2018-19 campaign saw them limp to a seventh-placed regular season finish before suffering a first-round play-off exit at the hands of Cardiff Devils.
Now, Fox believes the 36-year-old veteran blue liner can have an positive impact by taking on some coaching responsibilities, filling the same role taken on last season by fellow defenceman Mark Matheson, who has since moved to Nottingham Panthers to take on a similar role.
“Aaron has been great to work alongside this summer” said Fox.
“He is very knowledgeable on the hockey side and I will give him some real responsibilities.
He is very knowledgeable on the hockey side and I will give him some real responsibilities. The players gravitate to Aaron and I expect him to be a quality addition to our staff.Aaron Fox
“The players gravitate to Aaron and I expect him to be a quality addition to our staff.”
In addition to Johnson stepping up, Fox will be re-united behind the bench with a member of his staff at former KHL outfit Medvescak Zagreb, Carter Beston-Will, who joins the team in an assistant role.
“Carter has been great to work with over the last two years,” added Fox.
“He works hard and will be a huge asset to me here as he knows how I operate and will really help in the day-to-day grind.”