The Bakersfield Condors announced the signing of fourth-year pro Gary Steffes on Wednesday.
Steffes, 26, played the past three seasons for the Tulsa, Okla., Oilers in Central Hockey League and earned a call-up last season to Lake Erie, Ohio of American Hockey League where he played 16 games..
Steffes, a 6-foot-2, 211-pound center, caught the eye of Condors coach Troy Mann last season while Mann served as assistant coach for the Hershey, Pa., Bears.
"Gary is a big right shot centerman, who brings that dynamic of being strong on faceoffs and with puck possession being so critical, that is key," Mann said. "He projects to be a second line player for us, but you never know until you get a guy into town.
"I saw him with Lake Erie last season and I think he's going to be a solid player at this level. He is one of the best character guys that has checked out and character leads to championships."
Steffes amassed 129 points (61 goals, 68 assists) in 169 games with Tulsa,
"I feel blessed to become a part of such a hospitable community," Steffes said. "I truly believe in the vision of the organization's leadership and I look forward to becoming invested in the community. On the ice, I consider myself a defensive, two-way player who can play a hard, power forward style of game."
A 2012-13 nominee for the CHL's Man of the Year Award, Steffes gives his time and talents to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). He works specifically with FCA Hockey, a group that travels the world sharing the gospel through hockey camps and clinics and recently traveled to Turkey, where he assisted in growing the game of hockey by building a foundation for a youth hockey program.