Robert Dowd could be one of the beneficiaries from the wholesale personnel changes in the Sheffield Steelers’ team which faces off their new season, this weekend.
Dowd is one of just five skaters remaining on the roster from last year’s side - that season blighted by serious leg injury.
Had the flying GB winger not missed out on 14 league games, he may well have topped the club’s scoring poll, rather than coming seventh.
But Dowd, at 30, is in his prime and could well find himself on the first line - a privilege rarely bestowed on him.
This season, it’s possible promotion of sorts could be on its way.
He could end up sharing the first unit with two new recruits, centreman Evan McGrath with Jordan Owens on the left flank.
That, possibly, could then lead to Ryan Rupert centring a second line with his brother Matt and Justin Buzzeo.
Josh Pitt could be in the middle of Tanner Eberle and Stefan Della Rovere, with a fourth unit involving Chris Lawrence, Jonathan Phillips and either Kieran Brown or Brandon Whistle.
Dowd can be irresistible force for Steelers and with all the new faces on board, it would be a boost for him and the fans to see him high up the pecking order as the pre-season warms up.
Thompson, who believes his new players will radically strengthen the side, plans to introduce second-string netminder Brad Day into the mix at some stage, this weekend, as Sheffield play back-to-back games against Sweden’s Leksands.
“I expect Brad to be pushing Jackson Whistle hard - both will be pushing each other” said the coach.
“Jackson is our number one but Brad will be fitter, stronger and more experienced this season. I am happy with our goaltending duo. Jackson is on the rise, there’s so much opportunity for him, he has huge potential.”