KIRK AGREES ENTRY-LEVEL NHL CONTRACT WITH ARIZONA

Great Britain forward Liam Kirk has agreed a three-year entry-level contract with NHL side Arizona Coyotes.

Kirk, who was selected in the seventh round of the NHL Draft back in 2018, made a spectacular impact at this year’s World Championship in Latvia.

The 21-year-old scored seven goals in seven games at the tournament in Riga and finished as the joint-leading goalscorer.

A tweet by the agent Dan Milstein read: “Liam Kirk of Great Britain agrees to terms on the three-year NHL entry-level deal with Arizona Coyotes.”

Kirk said: “I’m looking forward to linking-up with Arizona with an entry-level contract.

“It has always been my dream to play in the NHL so to get this deal with the Coyotes is fantastic.

“I am a step closer to that dream and I will continue to push myself to reach the elite level.”

Rotherham-born Kirk is a product of the Sheffield junior system and made his Steelers debut at the age of 16.

He signed for OHL side Peterborough Petes in 2018 where he spent two seasons and scored over 100 points, before the pandemic denied him a third year in one of the top junior leagues in North America.

He came through the GB junior programme and has won medals at all levels, starting with a gold with GB Under-18s in 2018.

Kirk won bronze with GB U20s in the same season and added a gold medal with the men’s team in Budapest, as part of the historic promotion-winning team to the elite level.

In 2019, he won another bronze with the under-20s as he led the team in goals, assists and points for a second successive season, while also being part of the GB team that avoided relegation from the World Championship top flight with a come-from-behind 4-3 overtime victory over France in their final game.

Kirk is spending today talking with the next generation of GB ice hockey players as part of a three-day junior camp at Ice Sheffield.

He’s pictured below with Great Britain Head Coach Peter Russell, GB General Manager Andy Buxton and Ice Hockey UK Chair Clifton Wrottesley, who are all also at the camp.

Russell, who gave Kirk his full GB debut and also coached him as Great Britain junior, said: “It’s fantastic news for Liam.

“After an incredible World Championship, he gets an entry-level contract with Arizona in the NHL – it’s amazing.

“His journey is starting again and he’s now got a huge challenge ahead, but he’s a great guy and he has really developed as a player.

“Just think how far he has come in the past few years, especially with that performance at the World Championship.

“I couldn’t be happier for him. He’s from a lovely family and is a great kid. I’m really excited for him.”