The Arizona Coyotes have signed Liam Kirk to a three-year entry-level contract, according to his agent Dan Milstein of Gold Star Hockey. It appeared recently as though Kirk was ticketed for a sign-and-trade situation, but Craig Morgan of AZ Coyotes Insider has confirmed that there is no trade in place. PuckPedia tweets that the deal will carry an average annual value of $813K, but cannot actually become official until July 28 when the transfer window opens again.
Instead, it appears as though Kirk will get his chance with the Coyotes organization after his outstanding World Championship performance. The first born-and-trained player from England ever to be selected in the NHL entry draft, Kirk was picked 189th overall by Arizona in 2018. He played two seasons with the Peterborough Petes of the OHL, recording 97 points in 110 games, before going back overseas last year.
Developed by the Sheffield Steelers organization, a member of the EIHL, he returned there this season and showed just how much he had grown in the last few years. In 2017-18, Kirk put up 16 points in 52 games while playing against men sometimes more than ten years older than him. In 2020-21, he scored ten goals and 20 points in 14 games for the Steelers, dominating the competition on a regular basis.
When he suited up for Great Britain at the recent World Championship, Kirk was able to really open some eyes in the NHL. Playing against high-level competition, he managed to score seven goals, tied for the tournament lead, in just seven games. That performance led directly to this entry-level deal, which now allows the 21-year-old to test himself at the professional level in North America.