Sheffield Steelers summer recruitment took another step towards completion with today’s announcement that they have signed identical twins Matt and Ryan Rupert from the Indy Fuel of the ECHL.
The brothers, 24, fill two of the remaining three forward spots on the roster which has undertaken a massive overhaul this summer with defenceman Mark Matheson the only import to return after last season’s trophy-less season. This only goes onto reinforce the fact that Head Coach and GM Paul Thompson has taken a much more younger and hungrier North American approach as he bids to get the Steelers back on the top level.
Matt and Ryan came to prominence with the London Knights of the OHL, and were part of the Knights roster which won the 2011-12 Memorial Cup. This led to Ryan being drafted that summer by the Toronto Maple Leafs; he went 157th overall in the sixth round of that year’s selection. Matt, however, went undrafted. Yet bar the whole of the 2015-16 season and a lot of the season previous, they have been on the same team.
Ryan admitted that Europe was always a destination that they were looking at. However, the stumbling block as that most interested parties were only looking at one part of the double act until the Steelers got in touch and indicated that they were interested in both as part of the summer rebuild going on in South Yorkshire. Thompson has indicated that they will play on the same line as each other such is the natural chemistry and that can only be a good fit for the Steelers.
Matt will wear 32 and Ryan, 33 during their Steelers adventure.