The club had seemingly been content with a 21-man squad to embark on this season’s EIHL drive.
Now they have added a 13th forward, Mitchell Balmas, who is also an extra import, to fight it out for a place in the side.
Like several other signings, Balmas didn’t tear up the league he played in last season, with seven points in eight regular season games.
But that was only his second season in the pro ranks and 44 games in the AHL signal that he is a player of a high potential.
Balmas, from Sydney, Nova Scotia, knows what it is like to win, in 2017-2018 he was a CHL Memorial Cup and QMJHL Champion.
The 25-year-old won’t be coming in as support in case of injury either – coach Aaron Fox is convinced he can compete for a spot up the lines.
Balmas should take his place in Monday’s induction today as the new-look EIHL squad gets together.
A club statement on Sunday night said: “Balmas joins the Steelers from American Hockey League side, Iowa Wild where he played 34 games last season.
“Prior to that Balmas played his junior career in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League having a sensational scoring season with Cape Breton Screaming Eagles where he tallied 50 goals and 86 points in the 2018-19 season.
“Three years followed at St Mary’s University (where he shared a period of time with Steeler Brett Neumann) before turning pro in 2021 with Springfield Thunderbirds (AHL.)”
Fox has been trailing Balmas for some time,
“Mitchell is a guy I have been working on all summer and think very highly of as a player” he said.
“He’s a guy who I expected to sign back in the AHL this year so when the agent reached back out in the last couple weeks this was an opportunity we weren’t going to pass on.”
“Mitchell has got an outstanding shot and put up some huge numbers in Usports and scored over 40 back-to-back years. He played the last one and a half years mainly in the AHL and had six goals in 44 games while playing an effective third-line role.
“He will be a guy that will immediately make our group more competitive and expect him to be an impact player”.
Balmas said “I’m excited to get going and join a new team.
“I looked at my options for the year ahead and decided this was the right time in my career to have a new challenge, I had spoken with Sheffield earlier in the summer and then became more interested when Kameron Kielly joined.
“We have been great friends and I thought if you were going to travel half way around the world to play then do it with one of your friends.
“Joining a club looking to win is a great challenge and one I am excited to be a part of, everything I have heard about Sheffield, the club, ownership, and fans has been first class; so let’s do this”
Balmas regards himself as an offensively-orientated player.
“I like to play with the puck, and be creative, however to be successful you have to be able to play a 200-foot game and I believe I am a player who does that”