Another day and a signing for the Sheffield Steelers, and it’s a familiar face to those in orange. Elite League journeyman Chris Lawrence is back in orange after spells away, and becomes the latest piece of Paul Thompson’s team jigsaw.
The 31 year old Canadian, who was drafted in the third round (89th overall) by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2005 draft, last played for the Steelers in 2015 when the club had a minor injury crisis. Prior to joining then, Lawrence had a less than productive spell at Coventry: picking up just one point in nine games. He had joined the Blaze in the summer after an impressive season in 2014-15 for the Nottingham Panthers in his initial EIHL venture.
As stated, Lawrence’s spell in Sheffield during the 2015-16 season was just purely injury cover and just before Christmas he was released. He subsequently re-joined his old club, the Panthers, and helped them to a Challenge Cup/Play-Off double cup triumph. These efforts were so well appreciated that he signed up for the following season but spells out injured affected his appearance tally but he was part of the historic Panthers Continental Cup triumph in Ritten; Italy.
Lawrence went on his travels again last season and north of the border to join Dundee as player/assistant coach. However, a broken leg early in the season limited his appearances in the City of Discovery to just 18 games. Now he’s back in Sheffield for a second spell in orange and has been earmarked as the fourth line centre for the Steelers this season; a position he is more than capable of playing. He could also feature as a right wing power forward due to his size, Lawrence stands 6’4 tall and is a shade over 200lbs so in essence; would be a bit hard to shift off the puck if he is in possession.
For me personally, I’m a bit underwhelmed by the signing but that’s how I call it in my head. Lawrence can do a role for the Steelers but he needs to be more consistent as he can blow hot and cold in games. His statistics in the Elite League certainly show he can put good numbers, he has 168 points in just 199 games which is more than creditable. Providing he is over the injuries that have beset him over the last two campaigns, he could certainly prove a few people wrong: myself included. All in all, an interesting acquisition to the 2018-19 Steelers roster.
Photo: Dean Woolley