Nurnberg Ice Tigers will be tough opposition for Sheffield Steelers says former DEL player

Joonas Ronnberg knows better than most what Steelers can expect this weekend, when Nürnberg Ice Tigers roar into town.

The new Sheffield man-mountain defenceman played in the DEL for Düsseldorfer EG in the 2015-16 season and anticipates a highly-competitive two games against Rob Wilson’s German team.

Steelers' Joonas Ronnberg against Sodertalje.

Steelers' Joonas Ronnberg against Sodertalje.

The Finn expects Nurnberg will be “way better” than last weekend’s Sodertalje opponents, who Steelers won and lost to.

“They have a lot of experienced guys from all of the top leagues...NHL, KHL, and the German league is very good” said Ronnberg. “They are not a very physical team but they move the puck a lot and have a great power play and great characters in the team” he said.

To win, Steelers had to be “good in the mid zone, try to get the puck away from their guys and get back on the offensive every time we can.”

Ronnberg, 34, has never won a professional trophy in his 18-season career, although in 2012-3 he was on the promotion winning Leksands team that went up from the Allsvenskan division in Sweden. He said a trophy was his aspiration in coming to Sheffield.

“There is a lot of winning history in this club” he said.

The d-man has been impressed by his new surrounds in Sheffield, saying that he was happy with standards and routines at the club.

“I think it has been a good choice for me.”

He said part of his job description was to impose himself on one-on-ones and get the puck efficiently to the forwards.

Ronnberg also complimented Swedish centreman Andreas Valdix, whom he played with five years ago at IK Oskarshamn.

He said Valdix was getting better all the time and it was a nice surprise to reunite with him at Sheffield.