Sheffield Steelers teenager Curtis Warburton tipped to be next Great Britain netminder
Sheffield teenager Curtis Warburton is being touted as the goaltender who will one day replace Ben Bowns in the Great Britain net.
The 6ft 2ins tall goaltender unexpectedly grabbed the spotlight in the recent EIHL mini series, when he was brought into the Steelers' goal at 3-0 down against Nottingham Panthers and made 16 saves.
By the end of the tournament, he had taken to the ice four times and faced 86 shots (86.05 percent save ratio.)
The 19-year-old made an "unbelievable" impression on the domestic sport, says his agent and adviser Chris Bailey.
"I love his confidence in his playing ability, it is a fine line with people between cocky and confident and Curtis nails it. There is zero cockiness about him.
"He is one of the nicest lads I have dealt with, so down-to-earth" said Bailey, CEO of ON:iT Sports Management.
"He stepped into the Series and people didn't know much about him, but by the end of it everybody knew about him. His potential is sky high."
Bailey believes Warburton has: "all the attributes to go on and be the guy who replaces Ben Bowns for GB.
"He ticks every box at 19, he's going to continue growing. He wants to get in the gym all the time and it's like: 'Don't overload yourself!'
"He is going to be a big body between the pipes and difficult to beat but he has got all of the talent there."
Bailey said the task now was "about him fine-tuning and continuing to progress. If he carries on progressing at the rate he is the sky's the limit .
"He's focused on the goal in hand and wants to excel.
"He wants the best version of himself that he can and has the right attitude, he is dedicated, he knows what his end goals are.
"Ultimately, he has the potential to be future GB netminder and be Steelers' number one in the future, that is not going to happen straight away but for the Sheffield organisation, what does that do for them when they have a British netminder and not having to bring in an import?
"He is maturing all the time and his talent is there for everyone to see," said Bailey.
Swinton-born Bowns has signed for HK Dukla Trencin, of Slovakia, for next season.
The former Cardiff Devils netminder played 13 games at Graz99ers in Austria in 2020-21 and nine with Nottingham Panthers in their Challenge Cup winning team.