Liam Kirk is impressing early at the Peterborough Petes training camp ahead of his first year of OHL hockey, after he was a seventh round selection of the Arizona Coyotes in this summers NHL Draft.
During Wednesdays annual Maroon V White scrimmage, Kirk was part of team white who came out on top in a 10-7 victory, with Kirk posting two assists in the contest as he looks to hit the ground running in the Ontario Hockey League ahead of the Petes opening playoff game against the Guelph Storm on September 1st.
Peterborough took Kirk with the 9th overall pick in the CHL Import Draft, and he joins their other Import Draft selection Erik Cermak for the teams training camp this year, with the two imports impressing early on.
In an article posted to the Peterborough Examiner by Mike Davies, he revealed how coach’s have been impressed with Kirk so far, with development coach Mike Oke commenting “ Liam showed a good deal of speed and some skill with the puck and looked strong on the puck.
“He’s still got lots of room to grow and fill out but I think it was noticeable that he’s played with and against some bigger players to this point. It will still be an adjustment. The style of game is a little different than the European game. I thought he certainly acquitted himself well.”
Kirk was one of the most talked about players ahead of and after the NHL Draft in June, being the first English born and raised player to be drafted into the NHL.
The 18-year-old forward impressed in his first full year in the EIHL with the Steelers, posting 16 points in 52 games, a year after he split time between the Steelers and Sheffield Steeldogs of the EPIHL, posting a huge 45 points in 38 games.
The former Sheffield Steeler joins a few familiar faces from UK hockey in the Petes organisation with associate coach Derrick Walser formerly of the Belfast Giants, Rob Wilson a former GB international and member of the Newcastle Vipers and Jesters, Manchester Storm, Steelers, Telford Tigers and Swindon Wildcats in his lengthy career in the UK.
Also part of the coaching staff who’ve played their trade in the UK during their player days are associate coach Andrew Verner (Vipers & Steelers) development coach Mike Duco (Steelers).
Feature image credit: NHL.com