How Sheffield Steelers' Liam Kirk can thrive in the NHL

Steelers' new centreman Justin Hodgman believes NHL-hopeful Liam Kirk is good enough to follow in his footsteps at Arizona Coyotes.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 9:51 am

Hodgman played five games for the Coyotes in 2014-15.

That, sadly, signalled the end of his contribution to the world's greatest league.

But the Canadian's experience is beyond reproach - it includes 157 outings in the AHL, 116 in the ECHL and 100 in the KHL.

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Sheffield Steelers' Liam Kirk is being back to be a huge success at Arizona Coyotes. Picture: Dean Woolley

While he doesn't know Maltby-born Kirk personally, he believes the winger can be a success at the highest level.

"I've followed Liam since the World Championships," said Hodgman, 33, referring to Kirk's eye-watering success with Great Britain in Latvia recently.

"I am extremely excited to follow his career with the Coyotes.

"I don't know much about him as a person or player, but I know he knows how to find the back of the net and that's a great start.

"He also seems to have a great hockey IQ, which is really important when he takes the leap to the AHL and hopefully NHL.

"The best advice I ever received was just to not give them a reason to send you down" said Hodgman.

"At that level, you need to be the whole package.

"So do the little things right on a consistent basis, and he'll be just fine."

Kirk, 21, has been officially attached as a player with the Tucson Roadrunners, a team that is affiliated to the Coyotes and whose head coach Jay Varady was an assistant coach with the NHL outfit, last season.

Meanwhile another Sheffield ice hockey youngster is taking flight to progress his career.

Steeldog Jack Brammer has been recruited by Malungs IF in the Swedish second division.

At 18, he is currently the youngest skater on their roster.

Brammer describes himself as a "gritty little player that will work hard and try and win all the battles I get into."

He told the club website: "Coming to Sweden, I expect a massive change to hockey.

"I am willing to adapt my game to make me a better player and will put in the work in training and off ice for this to happen."