Sheffield Steelers prospect could be ‘very high end player’ says Aaron Fox

Alex Graham has split his ice hockey year between Sheffield's top two teams and the mixture of styles, challenges and opportunities certainly boosted his chances of becoming a top British player.

Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 10:03 am

The Dronfield-born teenager iced 20 times in league play for Steelers and 22 for Steeldogs.

Read More

Read More
Sheffield Steelers could be planning on a future without Tanner Eberle

His ice time at Steeldogs in the NIHL will stand him in good stead and has doubtless given him the taste for more silverware - the iceSheffield side won a prestigious 2021-22 double of the National Cup and the Play Offs.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Dogs described the play off finals as "the greatest weekend in the club’s history" and the forward was very much part of their journey.

Graham, 19, scored 30 points in 20 games in the regular season at that level, and in the six play offs he managed 13 points, the type of return that won't have been missed in the EIHL.

Steelers' coach Aaron Fox said: "He is still developing; he's a very good player."

But he added: "There are still some parts of his game we would need to work on if we are to rely on him to make a big difference at the EIHL level."

Alex Graham, pic Dean Woolley.

Fox also paid the Great Britain U20 prospect a remarkable compliment.

"His (shot) release is arguably one of the best we had in our room," said the coach.

"His hockey sense is there, offensive creativity is there, he is a big body.

"I think he needs to be a little bit more responsible, but he could be a very high end player, for sure."

Alex Graham and Ben Morgan Pic by Pete Best

Fox likes to see his forwards helping out the defence.

He continued: "Defensively, Grammer has got better this year, he still has to take another step for sure, but he is young enough, he likes the game and I don't think there are any issues with his character. Yes, he could develop into a very good player."

Graham focused on his form after a topsy-turvy time in Canada at the start of last season.

He had been drafted by the Niagara Icedogs in the OHL in June, but by October he had been cut from the roster to accommodate a place for Russian winger Danil Gushchina, the San Jose Sharks NHL draftee.

Aaron Fox.

Gushchina tore up the OHL, scoring 71 points in 51 games.

Last year, the chasingthepuck website suggested Graham and Steelers' back up netminder Curtis Warburton could be members of a "new golden generation" to take over from the veterans in the Great Britain set up.

The site said: "Post Liam Kirk, it was a case of seeing who will be the next talented forward to come from the Sheffield system. Enter Alex Graham."

Steelers pride themselves on a strong Great Britain core in their team and you would expect Graham to be part of that emphasis going forward.