The 21-year-old forward was the first British-trained player drafted by an NHL team. Three years later, the Coyotes have reportedly signed Kirk to an entry-level contract.
Liam Kirk has reportedly agreed to terms on an entry-level contract with the Arizona Coyotes.
Craig Morgan, the Arizona chapter chair of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, first broke the news of the signing on Thursday evening.
Per source, the Coyotes & 2018 seventh-round pick Liam Kirk have agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract. Kirk tied for the goal-scoring lead at the World Championship with 7. The deal is not official yet.
Here’s the story that I wrote on him last week: https://t.co/Egn21EMerH
— Craig Morgan (@CraigSMorgan) June 18, 2021
The deal will be in effect for three years, presumably starting with the 2021–22 season. Financial terms have not been disclosed and the team has not yet made the contract official.
Morgan’s tweet followed a report from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman on Tuesday which indicated Kirk had received permission from the Coyotes to speak with other teams.
Arizona’s given permission for teams to talk to Liam Kirk, who just had a terrific World Championships for Great Britain. The Coyotes have his rights for another year, so a trade needs to be worked out. But Kirk can talk to other clubs.
Kirk, 21, was the Coyotes’ seventh-round pick (189th overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. The product of Maltby, England became the first British-trained player ever drafted by an NHL team.
Immediately after being selected, Kirk left his Elite Ice Hockey League team in Sheffield, England to join the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League. In two OHL seasons with the Petes, Kirk played 110 games and scored 97 points (47 goals, 50 assists).
The 2020–21 OHL season, which would have been Kirk’s final major junior campaign, was ultimately canceled due to the COVID–19 pandemic. He returned overseas for the year, playing 12 games and scoring 10 points in Sweden’s third-tier professional league before finishing the season back with the Sheffield Steelers in the EIHL.
Kirk finished fourth in the EIHL with 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 14 games, reaching relatively uncharted territory for players in his age group.
Here’s a list of the top 15 U-24 players, sorted by points, in the EIHL this past season.
Liam Kirk only turned 21 in January but still managed to score at the fourth-best pace in the EIHL. Very few players his age—and even a couple years older—managed to score a third as much. pic.twitter.com/i4FBKZ6LeN
— Mike Gould (@miketgould) June 15, 2021
Kirk earned a spot on Great Britain’s national team at the 2021 IIHF World Championship in Riga, Latvia. He put forth a star-making performance, scoring seven goals and nine points in seven games and earning a spot on the tournament all-star team.
Only Andrew Mangiapane (Team Canada/Calgary Flames) matched Kirk’s goal-scoring output at the 2021 Worlds; Mangiapane was ultimately named the MVP of the tournament.
Kirk will be eligible to join the Tucson Roadrunners of the American Hockey League beginning in the 2021–22 season.