While ice hockey is a popular sport in the UK, this isn’t a region that tends to produce the top players. British teams have been competitive at times in the Winter Olympics and World Championships, but they’ve yet to enjoy any global success in the modern era. That’s one of the reasons why the National Hockey League doesn’t tend to look at the UK when it comes to scouting for new talent. That situation could, however, be about to change.
Kirk the Trailblazer
In 2018, the Arizona Coyotes added GB International Liam Kirk to their roster. This made him the first hockey player born and trained in England to be signed by an NHL team.
It was a groundbreaking move, and while the left winger has yet to make his mark on the league, he still has a promising future. He’s currently playing as a prospect under contract at the Tucson Roadrunners of the AHL, and Kirk’s parent club is monitoring him closely.
Should the Coyotes call Liam Kirk up to their main roster? The new NHL season is less than a month old, but Arizona is already struggling. Second, from the bottom of the Western Conference, hopes of a Stanley Cup appearance may already be fading.
It’s an assessment backed up by the bookmakers who place the Coyotes among the outside bets in the outright Stanley Cup betting. According to sources linked to Sbo.net, Colorado Avalanche are favorite for the pennant, followed by the Calgary Flames, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Carolina Hurricanes.
The site is an excellent place to monitor all hockey betting. SBO lists hundreds of safe betting sites, each receiving a comprehensive review. The markets are backed up by a ton of helpful information, including betting guides, breaking news, and opinion stories.
Beyond that opening offer, many sportsbooks list ongoing bonuses for the life of the account. A choice of other sports, live markets, and mobile apps should also be on the table.
At 26 years of age, Lewis Hook has more experience than Liam Kirk, and he’s been a mainstay of the GB international team for some years. After his formative years at Nottingham Panthers and Milton Keynes Lightning, Hook now plays in the Alpine Hockey League for EC Kitzbuhel.
Another left winger, Hook, played a part in GB’s strong showing at the 2022 IIHF World Championships, and many feel he could do a job in the top leagues.
After three seasons with the Sheffield Steelers, forward Kieran Brown chose to join the Leeds Knights, and it’s fair to say that his career has been transformed.
He’s now been trusted with the captaincy and has scored vital goals for his new team. Goals are the top currency, and Brown should be under the radar of bigger teams.
Any NHL franchise team looking for a goalkeeper could consider the attributes of England international Jordan Hedley. Like many of his international teammates, he has moved around the teams in UK ice hockey, but he’s been reliable between the posts wherever he’s been.
Hedley now plays for Coventry Blaze, but he’s tipped to feature at a higher level.
Another high-scoring forward, Owen Griffiths, has been around the UK franchises, but he’s now enjoying a productive career with the Guildford Flames. Griffiths’ promise was first shown when he finished as a player of the tournament in the 2019/20 Challenge Cup, and he’s continued to develop on the right lines in the following seasons.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.