Jackson Whistle has been brought to Sheffield Steelers with the express purpose of helping the team get the better of champions Cardiff Devils and his former employers Belfast Giants.
Sheffield coach Paul Thompson doesn’t argue with former goalie Ervins Mustukovs’ immaculate record between the pipes for Sheffield.
But he feels there were issues in big games against the Welsh and the Northern Irish rivals last year.
He feels the arrival of the 24-year-old British passport holder will give Steelers a better chance in crunch games against them in 2018-19.
Thompson said that Whistle’s dual nationality had helped in the recruitment process.
“But the number one reason was that he, for two years, outplayed us (for Giants.)
"You can’t knock Moose’s (Mustukovs’) record. It’s not about that.
“But I need us to beat Cardiff and I need us to beat Belfast. And I felt there were times last year that that part of our game wasn’t quite there.”
Thompson accepts the young goalie, who joined Giants in 2016 Kelowna Rockets in the WHL where he served up his best stats, is not the finished article.
“But he is hungry. He wants to succeed.
“He wants to take the number one job in the international team off Bownsy (Ben Bowns) and we feel he is a good young, hard-working practice guy that is going to bring it every day and we are excited to have him.”
The club has a couple of options for goalie-training support from overseas for both Whistle and second-string Brad Day.
“Let’s not leave Brad out.
“He showed his growth in the win in Cardiff.”
Both would get the opportunity to develop, with help from outside specialists, Thompson confirmed.