Sheffield Steelers feeling whole again as roster is completed for Elite Series

SHEFFIELD STEELERS have completed their roster for next month’s Elite Series – adding another new face, along with a familiar favourite.

FINAL PIECE: Centre Josef Mikyska is one of two signings announced by Sheffield Steelers, completing their roster for the Elite Series. Picture: Monika Majer/Getty Images

Defenceman Josef Hrabal, who arrived midway through the 2019-20 season, is returning to South Yorkshire and is joined by fellow Czech-born player, Josef Mikyska, who plays centre.

Both will arrive in the UK shortly, with the Steelers’ pre-tournament training camp starting at Ice Sheffield on Monday, ahead of their Series opener against Nottingham Panthers at the National Ice Centre on Saturday, April 3.

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Veteran Hrabal has spent the majority of the 2020-21 season back in the Czech Republic, playing for his hometown team, HC Prerov, before going on to ice for Villacher SV in the Austrian league.

HELLO, AGAIN: Defenceman Josef Hrabal returns for a second spell with Sheffield Steelers. Picture courtesy of Dean Woolley.

Mikyska, 26, has played in the DEL 2 in Germany and Slovakia, and also stayed close to home in 2020-21 with HC Vitkovice in the Czech top flight where he posted 12 points, including four goals, in 51 regular season and playoff games.

Steelers head coach Aaron Fox said: “It’s great having Hrabs back for this Elite Series. He was playing top line minutes in Villacher and should come back here in really good form.

“Mikyska is a skilled centre who is coming off a solid year in the Czech Extraliga. He played mostly on the second and third line in Vitkovice and played a very responsible two-way game.

“He showed off his offensive game the year before in Slovakia, finishing in the top five in league scoring. He is extremely talented in tight areas and is a pass-first player.

TEAM BUILDING: Sheffield Steelers head coach Aaron Fox Picture courtesy of Dean Woolley

“I also thought it showed real character by playing in Czech this year, instead of staying in a league in which he had been so dominant. He will be a great fit and be a big-time contributor.”

Steelers’ Elite Series Roster: Goalies – John Muse, Ben Churchfield, Curtis Warburton; Defencemen: David Phillips, Josef Hrabal, Sam Jones, Adam Jones, Adrian Saxrud-Danielsen, Kevin Schulze, Jérémy Beaudry; Forwards: Tanner Eberle, Liam Kirk, Jonathan Phillips, Alex Graham, Brendan Connolly, Robert Dowd, Jason Hewitt, Matthew Myers, Joshua Waller, Jack Musil, Bálint Pákozdi, Sondre Olden.

* The Steelers yesterday confirmed their continued partnership with Sheffield Window Centre for both the EliteSeries and the 2021-22 Elite League season.

But, in recognition of the efforts of healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic, the company have given up their primary position on the front of the Steelers’ jersey in support for the NHS.

“It’s the least we can do,” said Sheffield Window Centre owner Ian Hunter Snr. “Every family in and around Sheffield has been affected by this pandemic and all of us are extremely grateful to the NHS and their staff for taking care of us.”

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