Weight: 184 pounds
Date of birth: August 16, 2001
Hometown: Waterloo, Ontario
OHL Draft: Round 2, 30th overall, 2017 Priority Selection
NHL Central Scouting Rankings: Pre-season: C Prospect, November: B Prospect, Mid-term: 134th NA
Mississauga Steelheads pivot Keean Washkurak played his Minor Midget AAA hockey for his hometown Waterloo Wolves during the 2016-2017 season where he compiled 17 goals, 21 assists and 34 minutes in penalties in 32 games. He would add 7 goals and 7 assists and 16 penalty minutes in 15 playoff games.
Washkurak would make his Ontario Hockey League debut on September 22, 2017 and score his first goal 4 games into the season on September 30th, 2017 in Owen Sound. He would complete his rookie season scoring 6 goals and 9 assists with 32 minutes in penalties in 61 games. He also competed at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17 with Team Red and had a goal and a helper in 6 games.
Washkurak finished his regular season draft year (now in the playoffs) appearing in 66 games for the Steelheads. He scored 16 goals and assisted on 31 others while racking up 58 minutes in penalties. His 31 helpers were eighth among draft eligible players from the OHL. Perhaps more importantly, 17 of them were primary helpers.
Washkurak’s 16 goals came from 143 shots he fired on goal, good for an 11.2% shooting percentage. When broken down by difficulty, he shot 22.6% from high danger zone areas, 15.4% for mid-danger zone areas and 5.8% from low danger zone areas.
Like the vast majority of players in this group, as a pivot, faceoffs are an area that Washkurak needs to work on. On the season he won 502 of 1019 draws for a winning percentage of 49.3%.
Where Washkurak stands ahead of most of his peers is his compete level, work ethic and willingness to do whatever it takes shift in and shift out. When it comes to these three areas, consistency is never an issue. However, producing at a consistently has proven to be an issue after starting the year at an excellent pace. Yet, if he is not producing he does so many other things well that he has an effect on the game and NHL scouts will certainly pay attention to those attributes.
Washkurak is an excellent skater with some explosiveness in his stride. Combined with his compete level, he hounds the opposition for the puck making him an excellent forechecker. Despite his 5’10 frame, he’s more then willing, and capable, of banging against much bigger players. And he won’t shy away when those players are coming at him. And yes, he’s been known to drop the mitts against bigger players as well.
Washkurak won’t dangle through players with finesse but rather uses good hockey smarts to make plays quickly. He’d rather drive through players and take the disc right to the net with surprisingly good results. But he can lure defenders in and then make a very good pass finding teammates. His pick possession skills are okay, but it’s not like he is prone to turnovers. Again, it’s quick thinking and quick movement of the puck that makes him most effective.
It’s difficult to predict what kind of career Washkurak will have at the next level. He has the tools to carve himself out a pro career. Sure, it would be nice to have produced more offense. But you’ve got to like the rest of the tools in the tool box.