The Arizona Coyotes announced 22-players from their recent rookie camp who have been extended invitations to the main squads training camp that gets underway on Friday, and Liam Kirk is one of them.
The seventh round selection in this years NHL Draft has had well documented hype around him since becoming the first British born and trained player ever taken in the draft, and his attendance at the NHL teams training camp is just another huge step forward as he begins his career across the pond.
After playing for the Sheffield Steelers last year, Kirk was taken 9th overall in the CHL Import Draft by the Peterborough Petes who’s staff have a few ties to the EIHL, with former Giants player/coach Derrick Walser, Rob Wilson a former GB international and member of the Newcastle Vipers and Jesters, Manchester Storm, Steelers, Telford Tigers and Swindon Wildcats, Mike Duco formerly of the Steelers and Andrew Verner who played for the Vipers and the Steelers.
With Kirk attending the Coyotes training camp he’ll miss at least the first few games of the Petes Ontario Hockey League campaign, but the experience, guidance and lessons he’ll learn from the Arizona coaching staff, as well as players like Alex Galchenyuk, Clayton Keller, Brendan Perlini, Derek Stepan and Michael Grabner Just to name a few will be invaluable.
It’s going to be some time until Kirk has a shot at cracking a pro-roster in North America, but he’s impressed enough since being drafted to warrant a look at training camp, before he starts his first year in the OHL, looking to hit the ground running in his new venture overseas.
He’s likely to be one of the first cuts when the Coyotes start to trim their roster for opening night, but for Kirk this is a huge vote of confidence that they’re willing to give him a chance to prove himself with some of their big guys, and I’m sure he’ll be looking to push for ice time when the Coyotes pre-season gets underway on September 17th against the Stanley Cup runners up the Vegas Golden Knights.
Full 63-man Coyotes training camp roster
Featured Image Credit: AZCentral