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Sport Chek Prospect Profile: Clayton Keller

by Craig Medaglia / Ottawa Senators

Vitals

  • Position: Centre
  • Date of birth: July 29, 1998
  • Shoots: Left
  • Height: 5' 10"
  • Weight: 168 lbs
  • 2015-16 team: USA U-18, USHL

Scouting Report

"Keller is a vibrant offensive wizard whose accomplishments at N TDP this past season share company with distinguished Americans like Patty Kane and Phil Kessel. Keller is a magnificent talent with no on ice weakness who has dominated internationally his whole career (2PTS/GP at U18). Armed with stunning first step quickness and lightning fast hands, Keller is difficult to track in open ice and makes a living burning defenders. A nightmare to defend in the offensive zone, Keller loves to wheel around the east circle and isn’t afraid to cut into the middle of the ice to get into the HD scoring area. In fact, he’s one of the elite forwards who’s able to incomprehensibly slip checks in the center point-high slot area of the ice once he steps off the boards. Though a strong shooter who can see and snipe openings, it’s Keller’s passing under pressure and in compromised positions that makes him a special playmaker. The vision, the IQ, the skill, Keller combines all of the right ingredients at NHL speed." - Anthony Mauro, DraftBuzz Hockey

Profile

  • Keller averaged 1.73 points per game with the U.S. Under-18 team in 2015-16, compiling 37-70—107 in 62 contests. Only one player has collected more points in a season for the USA National Team Development Program: Auston Matthews, the No. 1-Ranked European Skater for the 2016 NHL Draft (55-62—117 in 2014-15)
  • His total of 70 assists in 2015-16 established a U.S. NTDP single-season record, besting the previous mark of 64 set the year prior by Jeremy Bracco (selected 61st overall by TOR in 2015).
  • Keller, who split the previous season between the U.S. Under-17 and Under-18 teams, also moved past Penguins forward Phil Kessel (104-76—180) into sole possession of first place on the U.S. NTDP career points list (71-118—189).
  • The Swansea, Ill., native has medaled with the U.S. at each of the last two Under-18 World Championships, winning gold in 2015 and bronze in 2016. At the most recent event, Keller was voted MVP and named to the tournament All-Star Team after collecting 4-10—14 in seven games to help the U.S. win bronze.
  • Keller, who played minor hockey in St. Louis, also won a silver medal at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge where he paced all players with 13 points and shared the tournament lead with seven assists.

Draft prospect Keller leaning toward Boston U.

"I think right now Boston University is my top choice because I think just coach [David] Quinn is a really special guy. I'm really close with him and I think that's going to be the best fit for me." - Clayton Keller

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