Keaton Dowhaniuk – 2022 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

Keaton Dowhaniuk

2021-22 Team: Prince George Cougars (WHL)
Date of Birth: February 8, 2004
Place of Birth: Star City, SK, Can
Ht: 6-foot-0 Wt: 165 pounds
Shoots: Left
Position: D
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible

Rankings

Keaton Dowhaniuk is a mobile, offensively-minded defenceman who was drafted third overall in the Western Hockey League (WHL) Draft back in 2019. Through his first three seasons with the Prince George Cougars, he has four goals and 31 points in 94 games while generating 119 total shots on the net. Fun fact, on Oct. 9, 2021, versus the Kamloops Blazers, he won a faceoff against Logan Stankoven during the second period.

Keaton Dowhaniuk Prince George Cougars
Keaton Dowhaniuk, Prince George Cougars (James Doyle / Prince George Cougars)

Why Dowhaniuk was such a highly-touted prospect before he was drafted into the WHL was because of his skating, as he can change directions quickly and rarely loses an edge on the ice. While not the fastest player, he maximizes his strides allowing him to get up and down the ice with ease. This is by far his most developed trait and what should entice teams going into the draft.

This season, Dowhaniuk saw steady production from the blue line with 22 points in 64 games. He also saw time on the power play and showed an ability to hold on to the puck under the pressure while finding open teammates with crisp passes. While his shooting game needs some work, he has shown he can get the puck towards the net, which creates rebounds and second-chance opportunities.

Related: 2022 NHL Draft Guide

One area that Dowhaniuk needs to work on is getting the puck out of his own zone. While he has shown an ability to carry the puck out of his own zone on occasion, the issue comes when he needs to pass the puck out. Too many times, it either gets intercepted or goes all the way down the ice for an icing. He is good at creating takeaways; now, he has to work on the transition part of his game.

Before the season started, some scouts had Dowhaniuk as a first-rounder but inconsistent play combined with slow development has seen him drop to 120th among North American skaters. What this means is, that he has the tools to be a top player in the WHL but hasn’t put it all together yet. The 2022-23 season will be a major one for him as it will show if he just needed time to adjust to the league or if scouts misjudged him from the start.

Other THW Draft Profiles

Keaton Dowhaniuk- NHL Draft Projection

There will be a team that takes a chance on Dowhaniuk, but probably not until later in the draft. There is just too much potential here to pass up, which is why he will most likely go in the seventh round. Other defencemen drafted in the seventh round who have gone on to play in the NHL include Christan Djoos (2012), MacKenzie Weegar (2013) and Matt Roy (2015).

Quotables

“Dowhaniuk, once a top WHLer among his peers, has seen his stock fall a lot since then, but not enough to hold him out of the draft altogether. His game is built around his superb skating, though he hasn’t yet fully learned how to maximize that skill. His footwork is impeccably smooth and clean, with excellent edges, crossovers, cuts and weight transfer.” – Derek Neumeier, FC Hockey.

“This was my first time watching Dowhaniuk, and while I could see some of the reasons why he was such a high pick in the WHL Bantam Draft, it was hard to get a good read on who he is as a player and how he’s going to develop. He looks like a fairly athletic kid with some size and mobility to him. He’s decently agile and fluid, with light feet and good coordination in his crossovers.”- Derek Neumeier, FC Hockey.

Strength

  • Skating ability
  • Playmaking
  • Zone exits while carrying the puck

Under Construction (Improvements to Make)

  • Transition game
  • Consistency

NHL Potential

There is definitely a path for Dowhaniuk to make it to the NHL, but he needs to show more at the WHL level. His skating is great, but he needs to round out the rest of his game if he wants to make it to the big leagues one day. If he continues to progress and can show his game transitions well to the American Hockey League (AHL) in a few seasons, he should get a shot down the line.

Risk-Reward Analysis

Risk- 2/5, Reward 3/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential

Offence- 6/10, Defense 6/10

Awards/Achievements

  • CSSHL U15 Top Defenceman – 2018-19

Interviews/Links

Keaton Dowhaniuk Statistics

Videos


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