Redeeming Quality: Tyler Mosienko
When the Sheffield Steelers signed forward Tyler Mosienko during the off-season there were some raised eyebrows and a few misgivings.
Before the season started, I wrote the following about the Mosienko signing:
Tyler Mosienko (C) is seemingly the player with the most to prove, and perhaps the most controversial of Adams’ imports. Mosienko was released by Danish team Esbjerg Energy last season after admitting to gambling on a game involving his team. While the amounts of money involved were small, the ethics of such a move were understandably not acceptable.
There are some concerns among the Steelers Nation in that respect, but it has been noticed in social media that most are willing to offer a second chance, provided Mosienko brings some loyalty and hard work to the team. From what I understand, his work ethic is pretty strong, and Mosienko certainly looks a useful fast-skating player. While in Denmark his points-per-game average was over 1.2, something the Steelers could do with up front.
The League had to wait for five games before Mosienko could suit up for the Steelers, the EIHL assigning him a five game ban for the betting misconduct that couldn’t be imposed previously due to his immediate release by his former team. All eyes were on Mosienko when he took to the ice for his first game on September 27th in a 2-3 loss to the Cardiff Devils. He came away with an assist in that game, his first goal coming the following day against the Coventry Blaze. Two points in the first two games was nothing to be sniffed at, but what has really caught people’s attention is Mosienko’s play.
Being a Steelers season ticket holder I get to watch Mosienko regularly, and I can easily say he’s one of the most interesting and entertaining players to watch in the league right now. That strong work ethic that was promised before the season started is demonstrated in a player that is everywhere on the ice.
At 5’9″, Mosienko is not the most statuesque of players, but that does not stop him fighting for pucks, taking on bigger defensemen in open ice, or throwing himself into wall battles. The fast skating is evident in Mosienko’s ability to chase down pucks at both ends of the ice and catch slow-footed defensemen who might be expecting an icing call. If an opposing player has the puck while Mosienko is on the ice they better look out for him buzzing around them as he tries to get the puck back. In short, Mosienko is everywhere with ‘blink and you’ve missed him’ speed both on and off the puck. When he does have the puck we’ve come to expect flashes of brilliance in end-to-end carries.
Although not the Steelers’ top scoring player – the entire top line of the Steelers each have more points – Mosienko has put up a very respectable 28 points in 26 games, including a hat trick against fellow championship contenders Braehead Clan on November 16th. Mosienko is skating on a line with GB players Robert Dowd and Jonathan Phillips. It’s not a line that’s made up of bulk or much height, but it is one that is incredibly hard working. All three players are constantly chasing down pucks and battling for possession, and the results of those battles are starting to be seen in scoring and puck possession, especially as Dowd gets closer to the 100% recovery mark from the wrist injury that kept him out of games earlier in the season.
It’s a pleasure to watch the entire line, but particularly Mosienko, play. It’s nice to see the number of jerseys in the crowd bearing Mosienko’s name and number increase the longer he plays and the more attention he grabs. The ‘Mosienko‘ chants every time he weaves his magic with the puck are becoming louder and more frequent. There may have been doubts, but Mosienko hasn’t put a foot wrong in Sheffield, and instead let his game bring him the support that quality of play deserves. Sheffield Steelers fans have definitely taken him into their hearts.
He might have arrived in Sheffield with some baggage, and the need to dispel some misgivings, but Tyler Mosienko has definitely silenced anyone that thought he wasn’t worth the risk. He has proven himself as a player with a lot to bring to any team, and I wouldn’t be surprised if offers from elsewhere come flooding in. He’s certainly shown Steelers fans, and the league, that he was worth taking the chance on. I for one would dearly love to see Mosienko stay with the team for a long time to come, but if one season is all we get I intend to enjoy every minute of what he brings to the ice.