Leeds Knights coach Dave Whistle hoping to help Jordan Griffin continue development started at Sheffield Steelers
LEEDS KNIGHTS’ head coach Dave Whistle believes that in Jordan Griffin he is getting a player with ‘plenty of upside’ ahead of the 2021-22 NIHL National season.
The 55-year-old Canadian has been given a number of glowing references and reports on the 19-year-0ld defenceman and, once he lands in West Yorkshire next month, is looking forward to getting to work with him at Elland Road.
Whistle will be keen on player development for all of his team but, having spent the last few years coaching youngsters back home in Canada – most recently at the Okanagan Hockey Academy in British Columbia – it would be no surprise if he paid closer attention to the younger members of his roster.
“I like the sound of what Jordan is about – I’ve heard nothing but good things about him,” said Whistle,
“He is a player who I believe will have a lot of upside, He’s a younger player and a bigger player which, for a defenceman, is a good thing as that alone helps their reach and adds that little bit of extra size in the corners.
“We’re going to need him to make real good plays – if a defenceman can make good first passes and join the rush, instead of always being the rush, that helps our team a lot.
“Jordan has a good skillset and that in itself will keep on improving with the practices that we do, especially in the first month – I have a lot of drills lined up for guys to help with their skills development.”
Whistle is aware of Griffin’s two-year stint as an apprentice with one of his former clubs, Sheffield Steelers and, although the youngster didn’t get as much ice time as he would have liked in the top tier, his new head coach knows his time in and around the full-time set-up will only have served him well.
“His time at the Steelers will only have done him good, in terms of development,” added Whistle. “He will have seen how hard those guys work and what it takes to play at that level – they are professionals and are there to work hard from the first drop of the puck in practice, right through to the last drill of the session.
“And I want to instil that approach into our group too – that is the way that they are all going to get better.”
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