Comment on Will Kieran Brown follow in Liam Kirk’s footsteps? by Daniel
The summer of 2018 was one of the proudest moments in the history of British ice hockey: Liam Kirk, of Sheffield Steelers, became the first player born and trained in England to be part of the NHL.
Being selected with the choice of the 189 seventh round by the Arizona Coyotes, even British ice hockey fans who do not support the Steelers were very happy for the winger. As the BBC pointed out, in the race for its historic selection, Kirk had been playing for the Steelers for three seasons and had helped Britain to reach the elite ice hockey level.
If he can prove that he is ready to play at the NHL level, Kirk could still join Brendan Perlini and Nathan Walker, like Brits, for playing on the NHL ice. However, if he succeeds, it may not be too long before he is the only active, English-language English-trained skater in the best North American ice hockey league.
Now, just one year after Kirk's Yotes selection, another English skater will be competing for an NHL draft pick. Having recently extended his contract with the Steelers another of Sheffield's top prospects at Kieran Brown could still make the trip across the pond.
Will England send two NHL hopefuls in two years?
BOOM! : Here is a nice slo-mo from the first goal of @ kieranbrownie12 for the @steelershockey of Wednesday evening #Sheffield #Steelers ] #Edinburgh #Capitals #Kieran #Brown #EIHL pic.twitter.com/ujIWEyYDsR ]
– British Ice Hockey (@BritIceHockey) February 15, 2018
Brown debuts in EIHL with the Sheffield Steelers in the 2017/18 season. He then played 19 games with one goal and three points. With limited ice time in an adult professional league, Brown showed that he was thinking very fast, that he could weigh all his weight and that he had the keen eyes of the sniper.
Although Brown had managed to play 33 games in the LCHI in 2018-2019, his season and progression were delayed by spells in NIHL 1 and 2 with the Blackburn Hawks, Sutton Sting and Bradford Bulldogs. He played for the Bulldogs at the under-16 level and scored 45 goals and 91 points in 18 games in his last spell, before going to Wild Iowa for a few years to refine his skills.
Tom Barrasso succeeded Paul Thompson, winner of the championship, on October 1, 2018 before being replaced at the end of the season, overseeing the struggling Steelers. Barrasso was very strong and had a hard time giving Brown the Brown emergence time. But he did note in the Yorkshire Post that Brown boasted of having skills, a solid hockey IQ, and that he was developing the mental part of his game very well.
Barrasso's successor, Aaron Fox, has a monstrous task to bring the Steelers back to the top of the table, which may not be good news for potential candidate Brown. He is already approaching the signature of a veteran the Russian winger Nikolai Lemtyugov, to stack the advanced Sheffield lines and to add other bodies in the way of the potential progression of Brown.
It is hoped that despite a turbulent national season, where team struggles have hindered its development, NHL teams will always note their elite shooter skills, their willingness to compete in physical and his high IQ in hockey, as well as his success for the national team. Brown has scored two goals and seven points in five games with Britain's Under-20s this season, finishing third in the WJC-20 D2A.
Kirk sets a good example
He is the first born and trained player in England selected in the #NHLDraft !
– NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) July 5, 2018
With such a late pick in the draft of an unknown NHL country as a talent developer, Liam Kirk was certainly seen as an opponent of the Arizona Coyotes, who are seen as of the 17 underdogs. by Betway from June 20, to win the Western Conference next season – far behind Vegas's 7/2 favorites. Kirk started slowly but finished the 2018/19 season. While his efforts will probably not be enough to convince the 19-year-old to join the NHL, he is progressing better than expected.
At the end of the 2018-19 campaign, despite a series of 14 consecutive wins, Kirk scored with 26 goals and 47 points in 63 games with the Peterborough Petes in the Ontario League. With a full 2019/20 season to come and the lack of a necessary adjustment period, it's quite possible for Kirk to score one point per game, thus running the risk of competing for the time of the starting line. NHL in 2020 // 21.
Brown may not receive the same privilege while setting the spell on Kirk. Amateur expert Max Kolu, according to the New York Times, noted that Kirk was raw, but showed skill, a good feel for the puck and skated well. Brown certainly responds to some of these problems, but his lack of action at the highest British level can hold him back when the NHL franchises attempt to make their choice.
The NHL Prospective Ranking List does not include Kieran Brown in the top 250, but since many franchises are looking for players who demonstrate the skill of they feature, it is highly likely that an NHL franchise will consider writing Brown. Then, after a bad season with a struggling club, teams can be sent back to the NHL Entry Draft in 2019; it will be necessary to wait and see.