Yorkshire terrier deserves his Sheffield Steelers' jersey
If you're good enough, you're old enough.
That's Sheffield Steelers' coach Paul Thompson's view as his team opens the new Elite League season, with a Challenge Cup match at Nottingham Panthers.
His observation holds true on 17-year-old Kieran Brown, who impressed with his terrier-performances in pre-season.
Brown's development and willingness to learn marks him out as valid squad member.
Last season, he played 18 games at Blackburn Hawks in the NIHL, and one at Bradford Bulldogs U18, just one less than he did with Steelers.
Now though he has proved that he "deserves that jersey" says the Sheffield coach.
"He plays with an edge. On the puck, he is talented, he has got a great shot' says Thompson.
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"He is learning the game away from the puck, he has a lot of coaching, he is getting a lot of information, right now.
"He is certainly making sure he is going to be a Steeler for the year."
Brown scored his first, and so far only, goal for Sheffield in February, a cracking Power Play slap shot against Edinburgh Capitals, in February. He staked two other assists, last season.
Thompson has also wished former Steelers winger Eric Neiley well, at his new club, Milton Keynes Lightning.
Neiley's agent had initially contacted Sheffield, but Thompson said he told him: "We have no room, that's the way it is.
'If we had known about it early enough, before we'd signed our roster, I dare say, he'd have been back here.
"But good luck to him in MK. Absolutely we would have had him back, we liked what he brought."