Dave Whistle happy with Leeds Knights core he is set to inherit
LEEDS KNIGHTS head coach Dave Whistle says he is delighted with the addition of forward Joe Coulter as his 2021-22 roster begins to take shape.
Coulter is the fourth signing unveiled by the NIHL National club, adding to the earlier announcements of goaltender Sam Gospel, defenceman Lewis Baldwin and forward Kieran Brown.
Other signings have already been made by team owner Steve Nell but Whistle is more than happy with the core that he will be inheriting and has already started talks with other players regarding coming to Leeds next season.
He won’t get to meet his new charges until mid-July as he continues to work in his role as a coach at the Okanagan Hockey Academy in British Columbia, Canada, but he has already done plenty of research and watched footage of his players.
He is in daily dialogue with Nell regarding both on and off ice developments for the club as they continue preparations for what is hoped will be a September start for the second tier of the UK game.
“I’ve looked into the guys that we’ve already got on the roster a little bit,” said Whistle. “I’ve gone on YouTube a little bit and watched some footage of them all, I’ve talked to Sam Zajac and a couple of other people to get their thoughts on the players we have signed.
“I don’t know these guys 100 per cent, obviously, so I’m going on feedback that I have received and, in every case, I like what I hear and I’m more than pleased with the signings we have made so far.
“Joe Coulter is clearly one of those of players that every team needs on their bench.
“Everything I’ve heard about Joe has been positive – he’s a really good team-mate, good in the dressing room, vocal at times when he needs to be - and is good on face-offs.
“He plays both ends of the ice and works hard all over – the kind of guy that you need to win you games and I’m very happy that we’ve managed to keep hold of him.”
Nell said Coulter was another member of the Chiefs’ roster that he did not want to go elsewhere.
“Joe’s a good person, I could tell that straightaway,” said Nell. “He’s the kind of leader that you need on your team - both on and off the ice.
“He is one of those kind of players that are the heartbeat of the team, he’s not going to be the top points scorer on the team, but he brings so many other qualities - everybody on the team has different roles.
“Joe did a really good job for the Chiefs in what we all know was a tough first season for the team - he certainly impressed us when they played Swindon, he was hard to play against, which is the kind of player we want on our team.”
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