Nottingham Panthers defenceman Liam Stenton says he didn’t expect to get the minutes he’s got so far in the Elite Series.
The young Scot has featured quite heavily in their two games so far, averaging approximately 15 minutes a game for Tim Wallace’s side.
Stenton believes the experience has been invaluable so far in not only helping his development, but allowing him to familiarise with the pace of the game again.
“When I was first picked in the draft, I was originally in the taxi squad so didn’t expect to be coming down, to be honest,” Stenton said.
“Then when I came here, we’ve got six D-men and we’ve been rolling. It’s good to get the minutes and I feel like I’m improving with every game and I’ve got the chance to prove I can play at this level.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned is how fast it is again. It’s been a while since I played hockey and I was expecting a lot of speed when I came down here. I’d played in Dumfries so the pace was something I had to get used to again.
“I’m enjoying being here right now. Walking into a locker room like this, with the players and the experience they’ve all got, I didn’t know what to expect to be honest.
“It was amazing, knowing you’ll be playing with those guys and what level they’ve played at. Seeing how far they’ve gone in the game is really impressive.”
Stenton is also using his relatively short spell with Panthers as a chance to educate himself as a 19-year-old player, looking to better himself going forward.
Plus it’s also handy for him to be playing alongside someone who has top level experience in some top leagues on both sides of the Atlantic.
“Playing along with Josh Tetlow has been good for me,” Stenton added. “He’s been thrown in. as a young player and he talks a lot, which is good. He’s a big presence so he’s my bodyguard.
“I’m enjoying working with Tim Wallace and he’s a coach who’s keen to help you and answer your questions, plus Mark Matheson is amazing to watch and learning from what he’s doing is great.
“I wanted to play again so that’s the main thing I want from this tournament, having not done it in over a year so it’s gone really well for me so far.”