Sheffield Steelers coach Aaron Fox says Leeds Knights forward Brandon Whistle should be playing in Elite League

BRANDON WHISTLE should be playing in the Elite League - according to Sheffield Steelers’ head coach Aaron Fox.

By Phil Harrison
Friday, 5th November 2021, 12:45 pm
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 1:58 pm
AMBITIOUS: Leeds Knights' forward Brandon Whistle Picture: James Hardisty
AMBITIOUS: Leeds Knights' forward Brandon Whistle Picture: James Hardisty

The Leeds Knights forward was announced as being on a two-way deal with the Steelers shortly before the start of this season and played his first competitive game of the campaign for them in Wednesday night’s 6-0 win at home to Fife Flyers.

After the game, Fox was glowing in his praise of Whistle, who played as a third line centre and picked up an assist on the hosts’ sixth goal. And while he stopped short of saying the Steelers should be the permanent residence for the talented 23-year-old, he believes the Knights’ forward is good enough to mix it in the UK top-flight.

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HIGHER PLAIN: Brandon Whistle , in action for Sheffield Steelers during a pre-season challenge game against Nottingham Panthers Picture: Dean Woolley/Steelers Media

It was Fox who jettisoned Whistle back in the summer of 2019 shortly after he took over as coach. The Canadian-born centre returned to the UK later that year to play for Telford Tigers, helping the Shropshire club to the league and cup double during the 2019-20 season.

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His dad Dave Whistle – a former Steelers coach – brought him back to the UK to play under him at Leeds, where he has so far excelled, scoring 29 points in just 14 games, including 17 goals.

Sheffield Steelers' head coach Aaron Fox, with Brandon Whistle, far left, during a pre-season game in September. Picture: Dean Woolley/Steelers Media

Speaking to the Evening Post shortly after signing for Leeds, Whistle made clear his ambition remained to play at the highest level possible. It would be no surprise were he to secure a full-time roster spot for the 2022-23 season somewhere - maybe even sooner.

“He could have been the player of the game for me tonight, he was that good,” Fox told BBC Sheffield on Wednesday.

“His first time with us this year, I know we were playing some pretty good hockey for him to step into tonight but I liked his game a lot. He was good in the dot, very reliable, made plays in the o-zone.

“He’s come a long way since that 18-19 year in my opinion and he should definitely be a player in this league. He should be playing in our league.”