Kyle Keyser: The Future Has Arrived

Kyle Keyser grew up in the heat of the Florida sun, but once between the pipes its ice water running through his veins. Coming from Cold Springs, Keyser had to work twice as hard as the kid from Michigan or Ontario just to get noticed.

The opportunity to strap on the pads for Victory Honda Under-16 AAA squad in Plymouth, Michigan was just what the Doctor ordered. The squad boasts alumni such as Alex DeBrincat and Ian Cole. During the 2014-2015 season, Keyser posted a sparkling 2.27 goals-against-average and a .916 save-percentage. Those numbers were even more impressive in the playoffs with a 1.38 goals-against-average and .942 save-percentage.

And, oh yeah, he even got in a game with the Under-18 squad and you guessed it, he shut out the opposition.

Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Prior to the 2015 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection, Oshawa Generals General Manager Roger Hunt made no secret about the fact his Generals were targeting Keyser. But before he could make his selection in the fourth round, the Flint Firebirds pounced and selected Keyser with the 74th overall pick, 4 spots ahead of the Generals next pick.

Keyser would make the Firebirds’ squad straight out of camp, but to call that first season tumultuous would be an understatement. There were some issues surrounding the Firebirds squad that led to a five-year suspension on their owner, we won’t re-hash here, but they are well documented. Still, Keyser posted a 4.37 goals-against-average and a .880 save-percentage. And yes, all things considered, those are respectable numbers.

As the 2016-2017 season approached and a cloud hanging over the Firebirds, Keyser decided to ask for a trade. We know that there are those that frown upon a player asking for a trade. Yet, a player has to do what is best for them, especially at that stage of their career. And Keyser is as smart off the ice as he is on the ice as evidenced by his winning the Ivan Tennant Award as the League’s top High School Academic Player

It should come as no surprise that the first person come calling was Roger Hunt and the Generals. Hunt sent the Firebirds their own second round pick in the 2017 Draft back in return for Keyser.

Keyser’s acquisition wasn’t supposed to have an immediate impact with the Generals – It was an acquisition for the future as the Generals were preparing to launch a bid to host the 2018 Memorial Cup. Jeremy Brodeur (yes that’s Marty’s son) was the incumbent number one goaltender in his overage year. Logan Gauthier was penciled in as his backup. But a preseason injury to Gauthier opened the door for Keyser, and as they say, the rest is history.

That 2016-2017 season was Keyser’s draft year. He posted a 3.40 goals-against-average and .891 save-percentage. But as always the case, it was the playoffs that gave proof that Keyser rises up in the big games and is the definition of a money-goaltender.

In our rankings here at OHL Writers, we had Keyser ranked third among OHL Goaltenders (behind Michael DiPietro and Matthew Villalta) for that 2017 Draft. NHL Central Scouting saw it fit to rank him 11th in their final rankings, but we felt confident he was easily a top 10 prospect.

But on June 23-24, 2017 at the United Center in Chicago, Kyle Keyser’s name wasn’t called.

On October 3, 2017 Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney came calling and signed Keyser to a three-year Entry-Level Contract. Under the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement, undrafted players can be signed as free agents before the NHL season begins.

The Bruins, who drafted Keyser’s teammate Jack Studnicka in the second round at that same draft, had kept eyes on Studnicka throughout the season and it is evident they saw enough of Keyser to swoop in and sign him to his contract before anyone else stepped up to the plate.

Before entering the 2017-2018 season, Keyser would attend the Bruins Development camp and he did not disappoint the Bruins brass, nor their fans. Keyser would go on that season to post a 3.16 goals-against-average and .904 save-percentage.

But it was a move the Bruins made after his OHL season ended that caught many a Bruins fans by surprise.

The Bruins brought Keyser up to the NHL as their third goaltender during their two round playoff run in 2018 and the learning experience he gained from that can’t be overstated. Keyser credited Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin for not only being helpful in helping him with any on ice questions and thoughts, but also how to act off the ice. This article by Matt Kalman goes into great detail on his time with the Big Bruins.

That was a move I expected the Bruins to repeat once again this playoff run:

 

 

But as Providence Bruins guru Mark Divver tweeted, there could be injuries at play effecting the decision making

 

 

The season that just ended saw Keyser take his game to another level. He appeared in 47 regular season games and posted a 2.75 goals-against-average and .915 save-percentage and was often found on the OHL highlights for the Jane’s Saves of the Week.

It was during the playoffs where Keyser stood on his head knocking out rivals Peterborough and Niagara (who were the overwhelming favorites). By the time the third round had begun, Keyser had the best save-percentage of any starter on over 25 years.

It was going to take a miracle to get past top ranked Ottawa in the Conference Finals and Kyle Keyser was the best chance the Generals had to take even one game in this series. And he gave them just that – a chance. The Generals were outshot 163 to 99 in the series and when you are facing 40 shots a night, well, you get the picture.

His ability to steal a game was no more evident then in game 4 of the series against Ottawa. The 67’s outshot Oshawa 44 – 22 but Oshawa held a 1-0 lead going into the third period. The Ottawa barrage came in the third where they fired 19 shots on goal. With 34 seconds remaining and Ottawa on the powerplay and DiPietro on the bench for an extra attacker, Ottawa would tie the game and send it into overtime. But you can’t stop them all. And the 67’s would win the game 20 seconds into overtime.

No one was more heartbroken then Kyle Keyser. He should hold his head up high. He did more then could be expected and we believe the are great things ahead for him as he turns professional.

The accolades Keyser received from the OHL hockey minds were there as well. In the OHL’s Coaches Poll, where they only vote on two categories for goaltenders, Keyser was picked as the best puck-handling goaltenders in the Eastern Conference after finishing second last year and he finished second for the second straight year as the best shootout goaltender.

Today, OHL General Managers voted him second as Goaltender of the Year behind Buffalo Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.

Finally, we have to bring up the World Junior Championships. I was adamant in my belief that Keyser should be the starter for the Americans, and he rightfully earned the opportunity to start the tournament. He appeared in two games for Team USA but lost the crease to Cayden Primeau. But it wasn’t because of his performance. Keyser was dealing with an illness leading up to game three and he never took to the crease again.

So, what can the fans of the Providence Bruins, and eventually the Boston Bruins look forward too?

Well, you are going to be hard pressed to find a more competitive netminder at this level and one that puts the necessary work in to become all that he can be. I know the Keyser family is extremely grateful for the opportunity the Bruins gave Keyser, and his “I won’t let you down mentality” combined with his competitiveness and work ethic will make him a force to contend with.

Kyser is an athletic netminder with superb lateral movement and quickness to go post-to-post. He darts out to the top of the paint quickly to take away the net. His angles and ability to direct shots out of the danger zones are very good. His glove is also very good and he is superb with his blocker – with an uncanny ability to “punch” the puck to a teammates tape all the way out to the blue line.

At 6’2” Keyser has good size. He tracks the pucks extremely well and if he can’t see over a screen, is able to track it looking around the screen. When the puck is below the goal line, his head is constantly always on a swivel, knowing where not only where the opposition is at all times, but where his teammates are as well so that if he has the opportunity to put the puck in a place for his teammates to retrieve it, he knows where they are.

When it comes to goaltenders, proper development and sufficient time to develop are keys. I for one am in favor a lot of times with a goaltender spending a year in the ECHL before going to the AHL for further development. In the ECHL Keyser would get more starts and face more pucks and still receive the coaching from the Bruins goaltending coaches.

But the Bruins are in a position where they are going to have to make some decisions. They are set at the NHL for at least another year with Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. But the situation in Providence is a little different. They’ll have to make a decision on Zane McIntyre who will become a Group 6 unrestricted free agent on July 1. There is also Daniel Vladar in Providence and if McIntyre is brought back, those two will battle it out for ice time. That means Atlanta (if the Bruins extend their affiliation with them) might be a spot for Keyser. Or they could loan him to another AHL team much like the St Louis Blues loaned Jordan Binnington to Providence a year ago.

I have no doubt the Bruins will make the right decision for everyone involved.

 

CHL Announces Weekly Award Winners

Suzuki decorates the score sheet, Myskiw makes his mark

Storm’s Nick Suzuki named CHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that forward Nick Suzuki of the Guelph Storm is the CHL Player of the Week for the fourth week of playoff action ending April 14 with 10 points in four games including five goals and five assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-1.

The Storm centre began his week with a two-point outing in a 7-4 loss to the London Knights in Game 3, but had better luck finding the win column two nights later in Game 4 when he put up three points en route to a 4-3 victory. The Storm then notched their second-straight victory in Game 5 thanks to Suzuki’s two-goal effort, including the game-winning tally in a 3-1 win. Finally, he capped his impressive week when he added a goal and two assists to power the Storm to a 5-3 victory in Game 6, earning him first-star recognition as Guelph recovered from a 3-0 series deficit to force a winner-takes-all Game 7. In all, the London, Ont., native has collected 17 points in 10 playoff appearances and sits just three back of the league lead in scoring.

Acquired from the Owen Sound Attack in January, Suzuki finished his fourth season in the league with 34 goals and 60 assists for 94 points split between the two squads. It also marked the second time Suzuki was traded this season, as the 2017 first-round pick by the Vegas Golden Knights was dealt to the Montreal Canadiens in a September deal.

Also considered for the award this week was forward Olivier Garneau of the Rimouski Oceanic, who recorded four goals and two assists for six points in three consecutive QMJHL wins that resulted in a five-game elimination of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, as well as Prince Albert Raiders forward Dante Hannoun, who tallied six goals and one assist for seven points in three contests to help his squad take down the Saskatoon Blades in six games in the second round of the WHL playoffs.

2018-19 CHL Players of the Week – Playoffs:

Apr. 8 – Apr. 14: Nick Suzuki (Guelph Storm)

Apr. 1 – Apr. 7: Raphael Lavoie (Halifax Mooseheads)

Mar. 25 – Mar. 31: Adam Boqvist (London Knights)

Mar. 18 – Mar. 24: Evan Bouchard (London Knights)

2018-19 CHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:
Mar. 11 – Mar. 17: Jason Robertson (Niagara IceDogs)

Mar. 4 – Mar. 10: Greg Meireles (Kitchener Rangers)

Feb. 25 – Mar. 3: Nate Schnarr (Guelph Storm)

Feb. 18 – Feb. 24: Brayden Tracey (Moose Jaw Warriors)

Feb. 11 – Feb. 17: Maxime Comtois (Drummondville Voltigeurs)

Feb. 4 – Feb. 10: Alexis Lafreniere (Rimouski Oceanic)

Jan. 28 – Feb. 3: Samuel Asselin (Halifax Mooseheads)

Jan. 21 – Jan. 27: Ethan Crossman (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)

Jan. 14 – Jan. 20: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Jan. 7 – Jan. 13: Bowen Byram (Vancouver Giants)

Dec. 31 – Jan. 6: Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs)

Dec. 24 – Dec. 30: Kyle Maksimovich (Erie Otters)

Dec. 10 – Dec. 16: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)

Dec. 3 – Dec. 9: Ivan Chekhovich (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)

Nov. 26 – Dec. 2: Gregor MacLeod (Drummondville Voltigeurs)

Nov. 19 – Nov. 25: Brett Leason (Prince Albert Raiders)

Nov. 12 – Nov. 18: Peter Abbandonato (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies)

Nov. 5 – Nov. 11: Jason Robertson (Kingston Frontenacs)

Oct. 29 – Nov. 4: Joachim Blichfeld (Portland Winterhawks)

Oct. 22 – Oct. 28: Ivan Chekhovich (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)

Oct. 15 – Oct. 21: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)

Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Damien Giroux (Saginaw Spirit)

Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Dawson Davidson (Saskatoon Blades)

Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Luka Burzan (Brandon Wheat Kings)

Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Kirby Dach (Saskatoon Blades)

Oil Kings’ Dylan Myskiw named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Dylan Myskiw of the Edmonton Oil Kings is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the fourth week of playoff action ending April 14 with a 2-0 record, including one shutout, a goals-against average of 0.49, and save percentage of .977.

Myskiw claims the honour for the first time this year after stopping 42 shots over two WHL playoff appearances, including Games 3 and 4 versus the rival Calgary Hitmen en route to a series sweep. The product of Winnipeg, Man., began the week with a 2-1 overtime victory in which he turned aside 24 shots and earned first-star honours. He then sealed the series in Game 4 as he turned aside 18 shots to record his first career playoff shutout.

Myskiw, 20, is in his third season in the WHL and first with the Oil Kings. Through 45 games this year, he came away with a 28-11-2-3 showing alongside a .914 save percentage and 2.53 goals-against average. Through seven postseason contests, he owns a 5-2 record with a 1.93 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.

Also considered for the award this week was Boston Bruins prospect Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals, who came away with a perfect 3-0 record versus the Niagara IceDogs as he posted a 1.67 goals-against average and .952 save percentage to lead his club to a series victory in Game 6. In the QMJHL, Sherbrooke Phoenix netminder Dakota Lund-Cornish won one of his three appearances, but was named one of the game’s three stars in each appearance against the Drummondville Voltigeurs as he posted a goals-against average of 2.33 and save percentage of .937.

2018-19 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week – Playoffs:

Apr. 8 – Apr. 14: Dylan Myskiw (Edmonton Oil Kings)

Apr. 1 – Apr. 7: Samuel Harvey (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies)

Mar. 25 – Mar. 31: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)

Mar. 18 – Mar. 24: Kyle Keyser (Oshawa Generals)

2018-19 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:
Mar. 11 – Mar. 17: Matthew Villalta (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Mar. 4 – Mar. 10: Ian Scott (Prince Albert Raiders)

Feb. 25 – Mar. 3: Dustin Wolf (Everett Silvertips)

Feb. 18 – Feb. 24: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)

Feb. 11 – Feb. 17: Joel Hofer (Portland Winterhawks)

Feb. 4 – Feb. 10: Mads Sogaard (Medicine Hat Tigers)

Jan. 28 – Feb. 3: Jet Greaves (Barrie Colts)

Jan. 21 – Jan. 27: Dustin Wolf (Everett Silvertips)

Jan. 14 – Jan. 20: Olivier Rodrigue (Drummondville Voltigeurs)

Jan. 7 – Jan. 13: Kevin Mandolese (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)

Dec. 31 – Jan. 6: Ivan Prosvetov (Saginaw Spirit)

Dec. 24 – Dec. 30: Cedrick Andree (Ottawa 67’s)

Dec. 10 – Dec. 16: Mads Sogaard (Medicine Hat Tigers)

Dec. 3 – Dec. 9: Dustin Wolf (Everett Silvertips)

Nov. 26 – Dec. 2: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Sudbury Wolves)

Nov. 19 – Nov. 25: Kyle Jessiman (Baie-Comeau Drakkar)

Nov. 12 – Nov. 18: Ian Scott (Prince Albert Raiders)

Nov. 5 – Nov. 11: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

Oct. 29 – Nov. 4: Joseph Raaymakers (London Knights)

Oct. 22 – Oct. 28: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)

Oct. 15 – Oct. 21: Emile Samson (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada)

Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Alexis Gravel (Halifax Mooseheads)

Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Trent Miner (Vancouver Giants)

Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Luke Richardson (Kitchener Rangers)

Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes)

Generals’ Kyle Keyser named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Boston Bruins prospect Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the playoff week ending April 14 posting a 3-0-0-0 record with a goals-against-average of 1.67 and save percentage of .952.

Keyser was the backbone for the Generals last week making 100 saves in three straight wins to turn the tide in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Niagara IceDogs.  Trailing 2-0 in the second round series but headed back to Oshawa, Keyser made 28 saves in Tuesday’s Game 3 earning second star honours in the 4-1 victory.  The Generals would even the series in Game 4 on Thursday with Keyser stopping 36 shots and receiving third star honours in the 7-3 win.  Keyser made another 36 saves in Saturday’s Game 5 in Niagara and once again earned third star recognition this time in a 3-1 win to put the Generals one win away from the Eastern Conference Championship Series.  Game 6 of the series goes Monday night in Oshawa.

A 20-year-old from Coral Springs, Florida, Keyser currently leads all OHL goaltenders with a playoff goals-against-average of 2.10 while his .943 save percentage is also a top mark.  He’s in his fourth OHL season and third with the Generals after playing his rookie season with the Flint Firebirds where he was a fourth round pick in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection.  Keyser went undrafted in the NHL but signed a Free Agent entry-level contract with the Bruins in October, 2017.  During the 2018-19 regular season he posted a 32-8-3-0 record with two shutouts, a 2.75 GAA, and .915 SV%, in 47 of his 120 career games as a General.

Watch video highlights of Keyser and the Generals against the IceDogs in Game 3, Game 4, and Game 5.

Also considered for the award this week was Montreal Canadiens prospect Nick Suzuki who scored five goals and five assists for 10 points in four games helping the Guelph Storm force a Game 7 against the London Knights in their Western Conference Semi-Final series.  In addition, Philadelphia Flyers prospect Morgan Frost of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds scored four goals and four assists for eight points in four games against the Saginaw Spirit, and Kyle Maksimovich of the Ottawa 67’s scored three goals and one assist for four points in two games against the Sudbury Wolves.

2018-19 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week – Playoffs:
Apr. 8 – Apr. 14: Kyle Keyser (Oshawa Generals)
Apr. 1 – Apr. 7: Tye Felhaber (Ottawa 67’s)
Mar. 25 – Mar. 31: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)
Mar. 18 – Mar. 24: Evan Bouchard (London Knights)

2018-19 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week – Regular Season:

Mar. 11 – Mar. 17: Jason Robertson (Niagara IceDogs)
Mar. 4 – Mar. 10: Greg Meireles (Kitchener Rangers)
Feb. 25 – Mar. 3: Nate Schnarr (Guelph Storm)
Feb. 18 – Feb. 24: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)
Feb. 11 – Feb. 17: Nando Eggenberger (Oshawa Generals)
Feb. 4 – Feb. 10: Jacob Ingham (Mississauga Steelheads)
Jan. 28 – Feb. 3: Riley Damiani (Kitchener Rangers)
Jan. 21 – Jan. 27: Liam Foudy (London Knights)
Jan. 14 – Jan. 20: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Jan. 7 – Jan. 13: Isaac Ratcliffe (Guelph Storm)
Dec. 31 – Jan. 6: Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Dec. 24 – Dec. 30: Kyle Maksimovich (Erie Otters)
Dec. 10 – Dec. 16: Andrew MacLean (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 3 – Dec. 9: Brett Neumann (Kingston Frontenacs)
Nov. 26 – Dec. 2: Jason Robertson (Niagara IceDogs)
Nov. 19 – Nov. 25: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Nov. 12 – Nov. 18: Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)
Nov. 5 – Nov. 11: Jason Robertson (Kingston Frontenacs)
Oct. 29 – Nov. 4: Kevin Hancock (Owen Sound Attack)
Oct. 22 – Oct. 28: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)
Oct. 15 – Oct. 21: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)
Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Damien Giroux (Saginaw Spirit)
Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Sudbury Wolves)
Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Lucas Chiodo (Barrie Colts)
Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs)

Knights’ Evan Bouchard named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Edmonton Oilers prospect Evan Bouchard of the London Knights is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the first week of playoff action ending March 24 with seven points in two games including two goals and five assists along with a plus-minus rating of plus-3.

Bouchard led the league in scoring over the first weekend of post-season action for the Western Conference’s first place Knights powered by a pair of multi-point performances to start their quest for an OHL title with home ice wins over the Windsor Spitfires.  In Game 1 on Friday night Bouchard matched a season high with four points by scoring twice at even strength and adding two assists on the power play as first star of the 4-3 victory.  He then contributed three assists in Game 2 on Sunday earning third star honours in the 5-0 shutout win.  The first round series shifts to Windsor for Game’s 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Thursday night.

A 19-year-old from Oakville, Ont., Bouchard becomes the first defenceman to earn the league’s weekly award in 2018-19.  The Knights captain is playing in his fourth season with the club after being chosen in the first round of the 2015 OHL Priority Selection.  Despite playing in just 45 regular season games this year he produced 53 points including 16 goals and 37 assists finishing with the league’s second best points-per-game average among defencemen at 1.18.  The first round pick by the Oilers in the 2018 NHL Draft eclipsed the 200 point plateau for his OHL career during his final regular season outing also capping a March where he was named OHL Defenceman of the Month.  He finishes his four-year tenure in London with 54 goals and 147 assists for 201 points in 223 games.

Watch video highlights of Bouchard and the Knights against the Spitfires in Game 1 and Game 2.

Also considered for the award this week was Florida Panthers prospect Owen Tippett of the Saginaw Spirit who scored three goals and three assists for six points in two wins against the Sarnia Sting, and NHL Draft prospect Graeme Clarke of the Ottawa 67’s who scored five goals across a pair of wins against the Hamilton Bulldogs.  In goal, Boston Bruins prospect Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals posted a 2-0 record in first round action against the Peterborough Petes which included one shutout while making a total of 58 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .967.

2018-19 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week – Playoffs:
Mar. 18 – Mar. 24: Evan Bouchard (London Knights)

2018-19 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week – Regular Season:

Mar. 11 – Mar. 17: Jason Robertson (Niagara IceDogs)
Mar. 4 – Mar. 10: Greg Meireles (Kitchener Rangers)
Feb. 25 – Mar. 3: Nate Schnarr (Guelph Storm)
Feb. 18 – Feb. 24: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)
Feb. 11 – Feb. 17: Nando Eggenberger (Oshawa Generals)
Feb. 4 – Feb. 10: Jacob Ingham (Mississauga Steelheads)
Jan. 28 – Feb. 3: Riley Damiani (Kitchener Rangers)
Jan. 21 – Jan. 27: Liam Foudy (London Knights)
Jan. 14 – Jan. 20: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Jan. 7 – Jan. 13: Isaac Ratcliffe (Guelph Storm)
Dec. 31 – Jan. 6: Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Dec. 24 – Dec. 30: Kyle Maksimovich (Erie Otters)
Dec. 10 – Dec. 16: Andrew MacLean (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 3 – Dec. 9: Brett Neumann (Kingston Frontenacs)
Nov. 26 – Dec. 2: Jason Robertson (Niagara IceDogs)
Nov. 19 – Nov. 25: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Nov. 12 – Nov. 18: Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)
Nov. 5 – Nov. 11: Jason Robertson (Kingston Frontenacs)
Oct. 29 – Nov. 4: Kevin Hancock (Owen Sound Attack)
Oct. 22 – Oct. 28: Stephen Dhillon (Niagara IceDogs)
Oct. 15 – Oct. 21: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)
Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Damien Giroux (Saginaw Spirit)
Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Sudbury Wolves)
Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Lucas Chiodo (Barrie Colts)
Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs)

CHL Announces Weekly Award Winners

Battalion’s Justin Brazeau named CHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Justin Brazeau of the North Bay Battalion is the CHL Player of the Week for the regular season week ending October 21 after recording nine points in two games including four goals and five assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-3.

Brazeau produced a pair of multi-point performances highlighted by a Battalion record-tying output to take over the lead in the OHL’s scoring race.  He scored a goal and an assist on Thursday earning second star honours despite a 4-3 loss to the Mississauga Steelheads, then scored a hat-trick with four assists on Sunday as first star of an 8-3 win over the Kingston Frontenacs.  The hat-trick was his second of the season, scored entirely in the first period, while the seven points match the club’s all-time best set by Wojtek Wolski back in 2006.

A 20-year-old from New Liskeard, Ont., Brazeau is playing in his fourth season with the Battalion who chose him in the 13th round of the 2014 OHL Priority Selection.  His league-best 25 points in 12 games includes 12 goals and 13 assists bringing him a third of the way towards his career-high 75 points recorded in 68 games last season.  The overage forward was named team captain prior to the 2018-19 season after attending San Jose Sharks Training Camp as a Free Agent invite.

Also considered for the award this week was Mark Kastelic of the Calgary Hitmen who scored five goals and three assists for eight points in four games, and Daniel Hardie of the Charlottetown Islanders with three goals and three assists for six points in two games.

2018-19 CHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:

Oct. 15 – Oct. 21: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)
Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Damien Giroux (Saginaw Spirit)
Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Dawson Davidson (Saskatoon Blades)
Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Luka Burzan (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Kirby Dach (Saskatoon Blades)

Armada’s Émile Samson named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Émile Samson of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the regular season week ending October 21 after posting a 2-0-0-0 record with one shutout for a goals-against-average of 0.50 and save percentage of .984.

Samson turned aside 61 shots last week for the Armada who climbed into seventh place in the QMJHL’s overall standings holding a 7-4-1-0 record.  He recorded his first shutout of the season on Friday night with a 32-save performance to blank the Val-d’Or Foreurs by a 4-0 score while earning third star honours.  On Saturday night he delivered a first star effort against the Quebec Remparts featuring 29 saves in a 4-1 triumph.

A 19-year-old from Lévis, Quebec, Samson is playing in his second QMJHL season with the Armada after joining the club as a Free Agent one year ago.  So far this season he carries a 6-2-1-0 record with the league’s second best goals-against-average and save percentage with marks of 1.86 and .939 respectively.  Last season as a rookie he won 17 of his 27 regular season appearances followed by another 13 playoff victories helping the Armada reach the President Cup Final.

Also considered for the award this week was Boston Bruins prospect Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals who posted a 3-0-0-0 record making 88 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.33 and save percentage of .957, and rookie Trent Miner of the Vancouver Giants who went 1-0-1-0 stopping 59 shots for a goals-against-average of 1.48 and save percentage of .952.

2018-19 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:

Oct. 15 – Oct. 21: Émile Samson (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada)
Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Alexis Gravel (Halifax Mooseheads)
Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Trent Miner (Vancouver Giants)
Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Luke Richardson (Kitchener Rangers)
Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes)

CHL Leagues

Battalion’s Justin Brazeau named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that North Bay Battalion captain Justin Brazeau is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the regular season week ending October 21 with nine points in two games scoring four goals and five assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-3.

Brazeau took over sole possession of the OHL’s scoring lead on Sunday while tying a Battalion single-game record with a seven point performance.  He scored his second hat-trick of the season accounting for the club’s first three goals in 11:31 of the first period then added four assists to earn first star honours in an 8-3 win over the Kingston Frontenacs.  The seven points equals franchise great Wojtek Wolski who had four goals and three assists in a 9-4 decision over the Erie Otters in Brampton on January 22, 2006.  Brazeau also scored once with an assist on Thursday as second star of a 4-3 loss to the Mississauga Steelheads in the Troops’ annual Pink in the Rink game.

A 20-year-old from New Liskeard, Ont., Brazeau is playing in his fourth season with the Battalion who chose him in the 13th round of the 2014 OHL Priority Selection.  So far this season he’s scored 12 goals and 13 assists for 25 points in 12 games to reach the 150 career point milestone which ranks 15th on the club’s all-time list.  In September the overage forward was appointed the club’s fifth captain in their North Bay tenure after leading the OHL pre-season in scoring.  Brazeau attended San Jose Sharks Training Camp as a Free Agent invite.

Watch video highlights of Brazeau and the Battalion against the Steelheads and Frontenacs.

Also considered for the award this week were a trio of players with nine points in three games led by Kevin Hancock of the Owen Sound Attack who scored five goals and four assists, plus a pair of Philadelphia Flyers prospects including Morgan Frost of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Matthew Strome of the Hamilton Bulldogs both recording three goals and six assists.

In goal, Boston Bruins prospect Kyle Keyser posted a 3-0-0-0 record between-the-pipes for the Oshawa Generals making 88 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.33 and save percentage of .957.

2018-19 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week – Regular Season:

Oct. 15 – Oct. 21: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)
Oct. 8 – Oct. 14: Damien Giroux (Saginaw Spirit)
Oct. 1 – Oct. 7: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Sudbury Wolves)
Sept. 24 – Sept. 30: Lucas Chiodo (Barrie Colts)
Sept. 19 – Sept. 23: Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs)

CHL Announces Weekly Award Winners

Halbgewachs and Montpetit earn CHL honours 

Warriors’ Jayden Halbgewachs named CHL Player of the Week 

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that San Jose Sharks prospect Jayden Halbgewachs of the Moose Jaw Warriors is the CHL Player of the Week for the week ending March 11 after recording 12 points in four games including seven goals and five assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-2. 

Halbgewachs extended his point-streak to 17 while taking over top position in CHL scoring and helping the Warriors win three games to increase their lead atop the WHL standings heading into the final week of regular season action.  He began his week on Wednesday with authority delivering a five-point performance, his fifth of the season, which included his third hat-trick plus two assists as first star of a 6-2 win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes.  On Friday he scored twice with one assist as third star of a 6-4 loss to the Prince Albert Raiders, then scored a power play marker on Saturday in a 4-2 triumph over the Swift Current Broncos in a battle of the league’s top two teams.  His week wrapped up Sunday with a goal and two assists in a 5-3 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings.  The Warriors carry a record of 51-15-1-2 for 105 points with three games remaining and hold a five point lead over the second place Broncos. 

A 20-year-old from Emerald Park, Sask., Halbgewachs is playing in his fourth full season with the Warriors and currently has 125 points powered by a league-high 68 goals along with 57 assists in 69 games played.  Originally a first round pick by the Kamloops Blazers in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft, Halbgewachs has produced 276 points in 273 career games and with two more goals this season would be the first WHL player to score 70 since Pavel Brendl accomplished the feat in 1998-99 with the Calgary Hitmen.  Halbgewachs signed a free agent NHL entry-level contract with the Sharks in December. 

Also considered for the award this week was Minnesota Wild prospect Dmitry Sokolov of the Barrie Colts who scored five goals and four assists for nine points in three games, and QMJHL rookie Samuel Poulin of the Sherbrooke Phoenix who scored three goals and five assists for eight points in three games. 

2017-18 CHL Players of the Week:

Mar. 5 – Mar. 11: Jayden Halbgewachs (Moose Jaw Warriors)
Feb. 26 – Mar. 4: Maxime Comtois (Victoriaville Tigres)
Feb. 19 – Feb. 25: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Feb. 12 – Feb. 18: Aaron Luchuk (Barrie Colts)
Feb. 5 – Feb. 11: Maxime Comtois (Victoriaville Tigres)
Jan. 29 – Feb. 4: Ty Ronning (Vancouver Giants)
Jan. 22 – Jan. 28: Peter Abbandonato (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies)
Jan. 15 – Jan. 21: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Jan. 8 – Jan. 14: Taylor Raddysh (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Jan. 1 – Jan. 7: Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 25 – Dec. 31: Ivan Kosorenkov (Victoriaville Tigres)
Dec. 11 – Dec. 17: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Dec. 4 – Dec. 10: Stelio Mattheos (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Nov. 27 – Dec. 3: Alex Barr
é-Boulet (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada)
Nov. 20 – Nov. 26: Cody Glass (Portland Winterhawks)
Nov. 13 – Nov. 19: Cliff Pu (London Knights)
Nov. 6 – Nov. 12: Aleksi Heponiemi (Swift Current Broncos)
Oct. 30 – Nov. 5: Albert Michnac (Mississauga Steelheads)
Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Aaron Luchuk (Windsor Spitfires)
Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Drake Batherson (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)
Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Tyler Soy (Victoria Royals)
Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Kale Clague (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Tyler Steenbergen (Swift Current Broncos)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Kole Lind (Kelowna Rockets)

Tigres’ Etienne Montpetit named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week 

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Etienne Montpetit of the Victoriaville Tigres is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending March 11 after posting a 2-0-0-0 record with a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .951. 

Montpetit turned aside 39 shots last week helping the Tigres extend their win-streak to eight while reaching a personal milestone of 100 career victories heading into the final week of regular season play.  On Friday night he made 23 saves in a 9-1 win over the Shawinigan Cataractes, then earned first star honours on Sunday with 16 saves in a 7-1 win over the first place Blainville-Boisbriand Armada becoming just the 13th QMJHL netminder to reach the century mark in wins.  The Tigres have now climbed up to sixth place in the QMJHL’s overall standings with a 39-20-4-2 record. 

A 20-year-old from Sallaberry-de-Valleyfield, Que., Montpetit is playing in his fourth QMJHL season and first with the Tigres since joining the club in January.  He played the first three and half years of his career with the Val-d’Or Foreurs who chose him in the eighth round of the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft where he accumulated 89 of his 100 wins.  Overall this season the overager carries a 23-16-1-1 record including three shutouts with a goals-against-average of 2.60 and save percentage of .925 which ranks second overall. 

Also considered for the award this week was Los Angeles Kings prospect Cole Kehler, a two-time recipient, who posted a 3-0-0-0 record including a shutout victory stopping 66 shots for a goals-against-average of 1.23 and save percentage of .947.  In the OHL, Boston Bruins prospect Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals went 2-0-0-0 making 63 saves for a goals-against-average 2.50 and save percentage of .926. 

2017-18 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week:

Mar. 5 – Mar. 11: Etienne Montpetit (Victoriaville Tigres)
Feb. 26 – Mar. 4: Shane Farkas (Portland Winterhawks)
Feb. 19 – Feb. 25: Emanuel Vella (Mississauga Steelheads)
Feb. 12 – Feb. 18: Riley Lamb (Red Deer Rebels)
Feb. 5 – Feb. 11: Brody Willms (Moose Jaw Warriors)
Jan. 29 – Feb. 4: Zachary Bouthillier (Chicoutimi Sagueneens)
Jan. 22 – Jan. 28: Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs)
Jan. 15 – Jan. 21: Mario Culina (Kitchener Rangers)
Jan. 8 – Jan. 14: Stuart Skinner (Swift Current Broncos)
Jan. 1 – Jan. 7: Samuel Harvey (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies)
Dec. 25 – Dec. 31: James Porter (Kelowna Rockets)
Dec. 11 – Dec. 17: Tristan
Bérubé (Gatineau Olympiques)
Dec. 4 – Dec. 10: Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)
Nov. 27 – Dec. 3: Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)
Nov. 20 – Nov. 26: Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)
Nov. 13 – Nov. 19: Anthony Morrone (Victoriaville Tigres)
Nov. 6 – Nov. 12: Justin Fazio (Sarnia Sting)
Oct. 30 – Nov. 5: Cole Kehler (Portland Winterhawks)
Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Dustin Wolf (Everett Silvertips)
Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Samuel Harvey (Rouyn-Noranada Huskies)
Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Logan Flodell (Swift Current Broncos)
Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Cole Kehler (Portland Winterhawks)
Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Dereck Baribeau (Quebec Remparts)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

CHL Leagues

Kyle Keyser – Oshawa Generals – Player Profile

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 186 pounds

Date of birth: March 8, 1999

Hometown: Coral Springs, Florida

Position: Goaltender

Catches:

OHL Draft: Round 4, 74th overall, 2015 Priority Selection (Flint Firebirds)

Oshawa Generals’ goaltender and native of Coral Springs, Florida, Kyle Keyser, played Tier 1 hockey during the 2014-2015 season for the Victory Honda Under-16 of the Elite Hockey League. There he posted a 2.27 goals against average and .916 save percentage in 19 games. Even more impressively, he posted a 1.38 goals against average and .942 save percentage in the playoffs.

The Flint Firebirds would select Keyser with the 74th overall pick at the 2015 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.

During his rookie season, Keyser would post a 4-10-0 record in 19 appearances with a 4.37 goals against average and .880 save percentage.

As this season approached, an unexpected trade request by Keyser caught the Firebirds off guard. General Manager George Burnett granted Keyser his wish and he was dealt to the Oshawa Generals for a second-round pick.

For Generals’ General Manager Roger Hunt however, he could say he finally got his goalkeeper. Hunt had not made it a secret that the Generals were eyeing Keyser at the draft, but the Firebirds pounced on him before Hunt could call his name.

Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Kyle Keyser of the Oshawa Generals. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

The acquisition was both a move for the now, and for the future. Keyser would back up incumbent number one goaltender Jeremy Brodeur for this season with an eye as the unquestioned starter for the 2017-2018 season.

Keyser would finish the season with a 7-9-2 record in 26 appearances while posting a 3.40 goals against average and .891 save percentage.

Keyser has good size for a goaltender. He is in control of his movements in his crease and his demeanor comes across as very calm although there are a few times he can over commit. He has quick movement from post to post and gets to the top of the paint in the blink of an eye. He has very good reflexes that allow him to react to second chance opportunities quickly. His athleticism is top notch. His rebound control improved at a steady pace as the season progressed as did his puck handling skills.

Off the ice, and this is a testament to his commitment and work ethic, Keyser received the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award as the top academic high school student. Keyser achieved a 95% average in high school during his rookie season.

Keyser was ranked 10th among North American goaltenders on NHL Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings. He ended up 11th on their final rankings.

Kyle Keyser

This is the stat page of Kyle Keyser at Elite Prospects