Roland McKeown – The Next Ones: NHL 2014 Draft Prospect Profile

Roland McKeown THW Close-Up:

Date of birth: 1/20/1996

Place of birth: Listowel, ON, CAN

Ht: 6’1″     Wt: 194 lbs

Shoots: Right

Position: D

NHL Draft Eligibility: 2014

Twitter@McKeown20

THW The Next Ones Rankings (January 2014): 26

Other Rankings:

THW War Room Rankings (April): 24

Future Considerations: Not ranked

Craig Button: 28

CS Final Rankings for North American skaters: 27

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Roland McKeown
Roland McKeown (Terry Wilson /OHL Images)

This draft has many top talents who are forwards. With the exception of a few, many defensemen don’t stick out. Roland McKeown is one of those few defenseman who do.

McKeown is an all-around defenseman that plays 200ft of the ice. He was 2nd among defenseman in scoring for the Kingston Frontenacs. While the talk of Kingston is forward Sam Bennett, McKeown has come into his own this season showing he is just as adept in the defensive zone as he is in the offensive zone.

He enjoys joining the rush and creating opportunities for his teammates. He has the wherewithal to see the play develop and create chances. McKeown is poised with the puck and can maneuver out of the defensive zone with a few short strides. His skating is up there with the best prospects.

On the defensive side of the puck McKeown cuts down passing lanes and finds ways to disrupt the play. He’s not overly physical, but doesn’t have a problem throwing a hipcheck every once in a while. Occasionally, he will be caught up in the rush leading to a breakaway, but it isn’t often. In fact, his overall positioning is what makes him a great tw0-way defender.

Where Will He End Up In June:

This is a very offense-heavy draft, but there will be some team in the 20-30 range looking for a great defenseman. I think that’s probably where McKeown will go.

Scout’s Honor:

“McKeown is a strong, do-it-all defensemen whose biggest asset is his ability to think the game and know his position. He makes strong, simple plays, has a good shot and distributes the puck effectively. (August 2013)”

Aaron Vickers – Future Considerations

If you’ve been following the OHL this year, you probably know a little bit about the ’96 class playing for the Kingston Frontenacs; a group that could be primed to net the revamped Frontenacs three first round NHL picks in 2014. Leading the way is McKeown, a 6-foot-1, 185 pound, riverboat gambler who might be one of the biggest wildcards in the top half of the draft. McKeown’s skating, willingness to jump into the rush and initiate the play, as well as his overall offensive upside is a tantalizing package. But it doesn’t come without concerns. McKeown is prone to being caught out of position and being overzealous at times which can result in him being a primary culprit for defensive mishaps. Red flags aside, there’s no doubting McKeown’s natural talent and he could wind up being one of the premier players (or flops) from this draft. 

The Scouting Report

Solid all-around defender with excellent balance, stride and quickness. Positionally solid, and already cool and collected in his game, with excellent vision and reliablity in all situations. Handles the puck well in his own zone, in transistion and on breakouts. displays a hard point shot. If he is able to grow a bit more edge, he will climb up the rankings. He was selected to the roster for the World Junior Under-18 Tournament in April, 2013.

Bill Placzek – Draftsite.com

Statistics:

Bio/Interview(s)/Links:

Interview with The Record

Profile from Last Word On Sports

ETA:

1-2 years

Risk/Reward Analysis:

Risk: 1/5   Reward: 4/5

NHL Potential:

2nd pairing two-way defenseman with the potential to make it to the first pair

Strengths:

Pinching to keep the puck in the zone

Reading the play up ice

Poise

Plays a simplistic brand of hockey

Cuts down passing lanes

All aspects of his skating

Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:

Getting caught out of position when pinching

Fantasy Hockey Potential:

Offensive: 7/10    Defensive: 6/10

NHL Player Comparison:

– NHL comparison: Roman Josi

Video(s):

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THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect: Chris Ralph

Follow Shawn on Twitter: @ShawnTHW