Weight: 173 Pounds
Date of birth: April 12, 2002
Hometown: Caledon, Ontario
OHL Draft: Round 4, 71st overall, 2018 Priority Selection
NHL Central Scouting Rankings
|C Prospect||B Prospect||74 N.A.||
Rory Kerins played his Minor Midget AAA during the 2017-2018 season skating down the middle for the Mississauga Rebels where he scored 19 goals and added 19 assists in 26 contests. He would appear in both the OHL Cup and OHL Gold Cup and combined he had 7 helpers in 8 games. He won silver at the Gold Cup with Team GTHL. During the 2016-2017 season, Kerins also appeared in the OHL Cup with Mississauga, registering 3 helpers in 5 games.
The Hounds selected Kerins, a native of Caledon Ontario, with the 71st overall pick at the 2018 Ontario Hockey League’s Priority Selections.
Kerins would appear in 57 games for the Hounds during the 2018-2019 season where he scored 9 goals and added 14 assists. He would be kept off the score sheet in 10 playoff games.
It was a break out season for Kerins during the 2019-2020 season. Among first time draft eligible players, Kerins finished 10th in points (59), 9th in goals (30), 3rd in faceoff percentage (53.8%) and tops in shooting percentage – 4th in the entire league (22.72%). Kerins finished 7th in the entire league in faceoff attempts, an indication that the coaching staff would use him in critical situations.
I asked Twitter friend Peter Florio (@HoundsInsider) for his thoughts on Kerins. Here is what Peter had to say:
Rory Kerins is a natural goal scorer. He makes it look easy, his pressure in the offensive zone is hard to shut down. He is an elevated player, when he has the puck something is going to happen and has an absolute missile of a shot. I fully expect Rory to be in the fight for point championship next year with the jump he made from 2018/2019 season to 2019/2020.
I won’t make as bold of a prediction as Peter did, but I will say this: We’ve all heard the saying that talent alone will only get you so far. You need heart, determination and be willing to put in the effort, and Kerins has that in spades.
Kerins plays the game the right way and is actually an accomplished 200-foot player. He has no fear of getting into the higher danger zone area in the slot area. He can score the dirty goals or as Peter said, beat you with his shot. He’ll battle along the walls, and has surprising strength at 5’10”. He has the ability to be an effective forechecker. If there is an area that I feel he could improve it’s adding an extra gear. That would help him in getting on the forecheck quicker. Despite his willingness to go into battle, he does it the right way, and the Greyhounds recognized that by awarding him the Dr. Bill Kelly Award as the Most Gentlemanly Player.
Kerins also has very good hockey IQ. He has shown he can be a good playmaker. He can slow down and wait for a play to become available and make a good pass, with a very good ability to lead players with a pass by putting it into areas they can skate into. However, judging how his playmaking skills are is difficult. The Greyhounds are a young team that need to gain some experience. And they didn’t muster up a whole lot of offense this season, just 253 goals and that ranks 14th in the OHL.
Defensively, Kerins understands positioning, whether it’s getting his body or stick into lanes, or understanding where he needs to be and is always prepared for the breakout. The coaches have the trust in him to take key defensive zone draws and use him on the penalty kill.
Except for faceoffs and his shooting percentage, Kerins is not exactly a standout at most aspects of the game, but rather one of those guys that just does all the things required to help your team find success. Again, the Greyhounds recognized that by awarding him with the Rock 101 Trophy as the Most Valuable Player on his team.
It’s hard to project what Kerins could bring at the NHL level. Certainly, the work ethic, understanding the 200-foot game and his shot suggest he could be an effective NHL’er. We would like to see him add that extra gear when it comes to his skating. We know he’ll score goals at the OHL level, but it’ll be another year before we truly know how good his abilities to set up teammates for goals is. Right now, he’s a mid-round pick and if everything comes together, a high reward one at that.