Lightning move: Sheffield Steeler prospect to be an opponent against his own club next season, at Milton Keynes
Cole Shudra will be playing against Sheffield next season - despite just signing a new two year deal with the club.
The 19-year-old skater had his first full season with Steelers last season, playing in 66 games, domestically, and five for GB U20s.
He didn’t get as much ice time as Liam Kirk, another local youngster brought up as an apprentice, and coach Paul Thompson is farming him out to EIHL rivals Milton Keynes Lightning for the 2018-19 season.
It means Shudra, son of Steelers icon Ron, will be lining up against his old buddies.
Coach Paul Thompson said: “Cole is an important player for us and one we see having a long-term future with the club.
“We feel he needs some more minutes to develop. We discussed this with Milton Keynes as they can provide him with the quality minutes needed for him to mature. He has the opportunity to grow more there. Then in 12 months we take back a player who is more rounded and experienced.
“I sat down and spoke with Cole; he is happy and understands the reasons. He has been in Sheffield for so long and I think this will be good for him to move away, knuckle down and earn his minutes with the Lightning team.
“When he comes back having had those minutes he’ll be a better player. If I didn’t think Cole had the ability long term to improve the Steelers we would have cut the cord.
“We haven’t done that, we have extended his deal for two years, we want to get back a more complete player after he has had this next stage of his development.”