We finish our weekly look at the Arizona Coyotes draft class with the seventh-round pick, the first English born and trained player drafted in the NHL, Liam Kirk.
Team: Peterborough Petes
Regular Season Games Played: 63
Playoff Games Played: 5
Playoff Goals: 0
Playoff Assists: 1
England isn’t known for creating a lot of hockey players, although there have been a few players born there like former Coyote Brendan Perlini who was born in Guildford. While the EIHL may not have the same level of skill as other leagues it would give him a chance to play in a more physical game against adults.
Kirk was solid in his first season adjusting to the North American game with the Petes. He finished sixth on the team in points and third in goals scored. Peterborough would make the playoffs but only lasted one round, in which Kirk would prove to be less successful than during the regular season.
This past season Kirk also had a chance to compete in international competition. He would represent Great Britain at the Ice Hockey World Championships, although he would finish with no points in six games.
Kirk has definitely been a key part of Britain's growing position in world hockey. Being the first drafted player is a huge deal and is thus the face of a country’s growing presence in the sport.
As a seventh-round pick it is hard to think of a better season for Kirk to have had. He seems to be adjusting to playing in the OHL well, and managed to come in to be a key offensive contributor. It’s hard to predict if that will lead to NHL success but Kirk has shown that he has skill and the determination to keep going.