BOISE, Idaho – The Idaho Steelheads have signed forward David Norris to an ECHL Standard Player Contract (SPC) for the 2021-22 season, Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Everett Sheen announced on Monday.
“It’s different playing over in Europe because there aren’t many North Americans,” said Norris. “You’re mainly playing with Europeans, and it’s a different style of game and lifestyle. It’s a lot more fun to come back and be around people like me. I’ve talked with a lot of guys in the professional world about Boise, and they say it’s the best place to go in the league.”
Norris, 28, played 24 games between Steel Wings Linz of the Alps Hockey League and ERSC Amberg of Bayernliga for the 2020-21 season, tallying four goals and 11 assists for 15 points. The Calgary, Alb. native began his professional career in England, playing with the Milton Keynes Lightning of the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) during his 2018-19 campaign, recording 18 points (5-13—18) before joining the Hull Pirates the following season. He posted a career season in his lone year of National Ice Hockey League (NIHL) play, boasting a robust 66 points (16-50—66) through just 35 games and owning the second-most assists on the team and fourth-most points while earning Forward of the Year honors for his club.
The 6-foot-2 forward has dual citizenship in both Canada and England due to his father, who was born in Great Britain and still has family in Manchester, but David spent most of his childhood in Alberta. After a junior career in Canada and collegiate play in the United States, Norris used the opportunity to start his professional career in a familiar country with friends. While returning to North America wasn’t scripted, he said personal matters plus the right team brought him back to the continent and, specifically, the U.S.
“I have a girlfriend here, and she wants to stay in North America, so I wanted to come back over and get things started for her. I decided to stay here and look for opportunities. I’m kind of excited because I haven’t played in North America since college. Luckily, this year, I was able to get in touch with Everett, and things worked out well.
“I got to mature a lot more [in Europe]. Last year, I was on a younger team, so the coach relied on me a lot more to be a leader. My defensive game got a lot better with being on bigger ice and having to be more conscious of that. I just grounded myself a bit more over the last three years.”
“David brings a wealth of experience from playing overseas,” said Sheen. “He brings some excellent leadership skills to help show the younger guys what it takes to be a professional. He is a big body that can skate and is dangerous offensively. We’re looking for him to have a great first season here in Boise.”
Prior to his professional career, Norris played two collegiate seasons at American International College from 2013-14 through 2014-15 before transferring to play with his brother, Liam Norris, at Arizona State University for his final two seasons in 2016-17 and 2017-18. Over his four-year career, he totaled 75 points (19-56—75) through 102 games with his freshman year being the best of his career statistically, earning 2013-14 AHA All-Rookie Team honors with 33 points (7-26—33) in 35 games.
Norris is the ninth Steelheads player and fifth forward announced to an ECHL contract for the 2021-22 season, joining forwards Zack Andrusiak, Will Merchant and A.J. White, defensemen Casey Johnson and Evan Wardley, and goaltenders Matt Jurusik and Jake Kupsky. Future announcements and signings will be announced throughout the summer, and you can follow who’s been added on the team’s Summer Signing Tracker.
The Steelheads are back for the 2021-22 season! Season tickets and flex plans are available ahead of the Home Opener on Friday, Oct. 22 against the Utah Grizzlies at Idaho Central Arena. Call the Steelheads Front Office at 208-383-0080 to plan your seats for the return of hockey to Downtown Boise! Stay connected to the Steelheads all summer long on IdahoSteelheads.com or by following the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.