Quick expectations for Sheffield Steelers’ new forward Martin Latal

Sheffield STEELERS’ head coach Aaron Fox says the team are getting a dynamic addition in the shape of new forward Martin Latal.

INCOMING: Aaron Fox, Sheffield Steelers' head coach Picture courtesy of Dean Woolley.

The Czech-born 33-year-old may have been a fifth round NHL Draft pick for the Arizone Coyotes back in 2006, but he has spent the subsequent 14 years playing in the Czech Extraliga for various teams, including Kladno, Boleslav, Dynamo Pardubice and, last year, with HC Litvinov.

“Martin is considered one of the fastest players in the Czech Extraliga,” said Fox.

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“I’m sure he will come in and be a dynamic player who I think, with his speed, will fit perfectly into our up-tempo pace driven style of play.

PICK: Martin Latal of the Phoenix Coyotes skates against the San Jose Sharks during the 2006 NHL Pacific Division Shootout in September 2006. Picture: Robert Laberge/Getty Images

“He’s excellent on the PK and I believe that by playing him with the right guys, that will open up his offensive game.”

One of the reasons Latal agreed to join the Steelers was the chance to play alongside fellow Czech Marek Troncinsky, the pair having played together as juniors.

But defenceman Troncinsky, who was due to return to the Steelers after spending most of the 2019-20 EIHL campaign in South Yorkshire, tragically died earlier this year.

“Marek and I played together since we were 16 in the juniors at Kladno and then with the national team,” said Latal.

“From the moment I signed we were in touch every day looking forward to playing together once again.

“What happened to him was tragic and we were all devastated with the news”