3View: New Ulm Steel
The 3View series will feature an in-depth look into all NA3HL teams in preparation for the 2021-22 season, with two teams being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season. 3View goes in-depth into each NA3HL team and will include interviews with all the head coaches in the NA3HL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the 2021-22 season, including taking a look at their potential roster and their strengths as a team for the upcoming season. It will also take a look back on the 2020-21 season and how each team fared and what they accomplished. Best of all, 3View will provide the fans of the NA3HL with an inside look at their favorite team and what to expect.
New Ulm Steel
2020-21 Record: 7-29-4, 18 pts (5th in West Division)
2021 Playoffs: Did Not Qualify
Head Coach: Curtis Doell
2021-22 Division: West
Each NA3HL team had its struggles during the 2020-21 season, but the New Ulm Steel seemed to be hit hardest as they slipped from a run of five straight 25+ win seasons to just seven victories last year.
The Steel had been building very well towards contention in one of the deepest divisions in the league, so it’s fair to believe last season was simply an aberration. Nevertheless, New Ulm heads into the 2021-22 campaign with a new coaching staff looking to right the wrongs of last season.
We have had many changes with ownership, coaching, management of both the NA3HL and NAHL levels,” said Head Coach Curtis Doell. “We feel that with the changes off the ice, things will get better on the ice as well. Especially if we get the ability to have more normalcy around the rink and avoid COVID-19 pandemic-related issues.”
Entering his first season behind the New Ulm bench, Doell is confident that he and his staff can continue the team’s ascent up the standings in the West by incorporating a more modern style of game.
“We look forward to providing an exciting and entertaining atmosphere both on and off the ice. We will be looking to create a puck-possession team that is fun to watch compete each night,” he said.
The Steel have several players from last year’s squad eligible to return to the team — including third-leading scorer Zach Maillette — and Doell looks forward to getting the best out of the Steel roster, even if he hasn’t had the chance to put his mark on it yet with less than a month in New Ulm under his belt.
Despite their 2020-21 record, last season was not a total loss for the Steel, as the team still earned four college commitments — something Doell wants to build on even more during his tenure.
“We strongly believe in getting as many kids moved up as soon as possible. Our job is to bring in kids and get them ready to make the jump to the next level in my opinion — similar to an ECHL/AHL to the NHL kind of mentality,” he said.
But after a down year for the Steel on the ice, Doell is ready to put that behind the organization and get things going in New Ulm.
“(I’m looking forward to) a new experience for myself and having some success both on the ice along with giving back to our community off the ice,” he said.
Next up: Northeast Generals