Weight: 172 pounds
Date of birth: December 31, 2000
Hometown: Sault Ste Marie, Ontario
Position: Right Wing
OHL Draft: Round 6, 102 overall 2016 Priority Selection
NHL Central Scouting Rankings: Pre-season, November: C Prospect. Mid-term: 148 NA Skaters.
Guelph Storm winger Keegan Stevenson played his Midget hockey with the Soo Thunderbirds during the 2015-2016 and scored 17 goals while assisting on a dozen others in 21 games. He would add 3 goals in 2 playoff games and appear in both the OHL Cup and OHL Gold Cup.
The Storm would use the 102nd overall pick to select Stevenson at the 2016 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.
The following season, Stevenson would play Junior A hockey with the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League. Stevenson would notch 12 goals and 23 assists for the Thunderbirds during a 54-game campaign. He would add a goal and 3 helpers in 4 playoff games.
Last season Stevenson broke onto the Storm roster and would play in 61 games scoring 5 goals and assisting on 5. He would add a goal and two helpers in 6 playoff games.
This season, on a deep and extremely talented Guelph squad that won an OHL Championship and a Memorial Cup run that fell short, Stevenson notched 19 goals and 15 assists in 55 games, while adding 3 goals and 2 assists on the Storms playoff run.
At 6’1”, Stevenson has some good size, but it is a frame that needs to add a lot of bulk. He doesn’t shy away from physicality, going in on the forecheck to battle for pucks, or from going to other dirty areas of the ice. And he wins more then his fair share of battles. Adding that necessary bulk makes him that much more attractive.
Despite playing on that deep Storm roster, Guelph’s coaching staff did not hesitate in sending Stevenson over the boards in any situation, be it to kill a penalty or draw the tough defensive assignments. Stevenson is actually an excellent penalty killer and his defensive awareness in all areas of the ice is at a pretty high level.
There was a noticeable improvement in Stevenson’s skating from a year ago and he will need to continue to work on that aspect of his game. While he’s not slow, if he can continue to work on his speed it will be another asset to his arsenal he can utilize. Adding an east-west component to his skating would also be beneficial.
Stevenson is also a very smart and heads-up player. I happen to think he sees the ice extremely well, makes excellent reads and is a very good playmaker. The question one must ask is: just how much offensive upside is there with Stevenson? The opportunities in Guelph just weren’t there to fully see with all the guys in front of him. But 5 on 5, he out produced some of the players in front of him in this draft class.
I’m not sure what Stevenson will end up being at the next level, but am confident that he can carve himself a career as a third line winger who can kill penalties, provide some energy and chip in some offense while he’s at it.