Sheffield Steeldogs sign junior Great Britain star
Sheffield Steeldogs believes they have stolen a march on other hockey clubs in the country with the signing of a junior Great Britain team-mate of Steelers' Alex Graham, Kieran Brown and Jordan Griffin.
Fife Flyers starlet Reece Cochrane, a defenceman born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland is described by the iceSheffield club as ‘one of the most promising young talents in the country’.His move has caused rumblings in Fife.
The 18-year-old, who has also played alongside Liam Kirk, the ex Steelers and NHL draftee, has already dressed for 60 matches in the Elite League.
But he decided to jump ship and link up with Dogs, who play in the country's second flight, the NIHL.
He could soon be playing again with the likes of Brown, Graham, Griffin again this year, if they are "sent down" from the Elite League to get ice time.
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And Steelers will doubtless keep a discreet eye on his development this coming season.
Steeldogs co-owner Ali Cree said: “Giving young players a chance to develop has always been central to our ambitions and whilst we love seeing local talent, we have always been open to creating opportunities to players from across the country.
“Reece was someone we’d been aware of for a while and we found his attitude and ambitions matched with ours. He’s clearly got great ability and his repeated selections for Scotland plus representing GB three times in the past 18 months, show he’s got huge potential.
“We’d love it if Reece were still a Dog in five years time but we would be equally happy if we can help him secure an Elite League place eventually. We’ve seen the likes of Liam Kirk and Duncan Speirs getting those moves, so with hard work and application, it’s possible for Reece too.”
The move prompted some editorial disquiet over the border.
The Fife Today website reported: "The moves south underline the challenge young players face making the step up from junior ranks to the Elite League – a gap the coaches have insisted is significant and has to be managed.
"The debate over ice time ran across last season, particularly when Flyers were short benched through major injuries, but still held back their young Brits."
The site added that Flyers had already lost Caley Robertson, another of last season’s promising players, to Milton Keynes Lightning in the same league as Dogs.