Thursday, August 29, 2013

A scorer for the future--UPDATED

BU has received a verbal from one of the top U.S. ‘98 birthdate forwards, Shattuck St. Mary Bantam standout Clayton Keller, who will arrive at Agganis Arena in 2016.

A 5-10, 144 lb. native of Swansea, Illinois, and a product of the Jr. Blues program, Keller scored a team-high129 points —58g, 71 a—in 60 games (40 points more than the #2 scorer) to lead the Sabres to the USA Hockey U14 National Championship game. His performance in the Nationals earned him a spot on the All-Youth1 tournament team.

According to Matthew Barnaby, a former NHLer and now coach of SSM rival the 14U Buffalo Regals, “Clayton is a tremendous player with exceptional skills. His passing and vision make him a force every time he is on the ice and his hockey IQ is off the charts.”  

In late April, Keller skated for the New England Nordiques in the World Selects Invitational in Saco, Maine, earning kudos from U.S. Hockey Report:
Clayton Keller, F, ’98 (New England Nordiques) 5-8/150 — We saw the Shattuck-St. Mary’s forward at Nationals a couple of weeks ago, and wrote that he reminded us of Zach Parise at the same age. We’ll stick with that. The Bellville, Ill. native is an effortless skater with a top-notch skill set. Makes plays every time he touches the puck. Is only going to get better when he begins to fill out. Our only knock on him is that we would like to see him add some more finish to his game — he’s definitely a ‘pass first’ player. Regardless, we’re convinced Keller is a young star in the making.
At the recent USA Hockey Select 15 development camp, the left-shot center had a 5-5-10 line in five games, tied for fourth best at the event. Keller will skate for SSM’s 16U squad this season.

The Western Hockey Blog’s Chris Dilks, who calls Keller “a small shifty playmaker with incredible vision and passing ability,” opines:
It's a huge pick-up for the Terriers and new head coach David Quinn, in an area that BU isn't necessarily known for recruiting from. Keller is just entering the 10th grade this year, so he wouldn't join the Terriers until 2016 at the earliest, but it's a very positive sign for BU's long-term stability to lock up quality players like this.

Keller is #9 for SSM in this video clip:

Other observations about Kelleher from Amateur Hockey Report scouts:
Scouted on July 14-20, 2013 @ USA Select 15 Festival
A Shattuck U-14 product was the best player on the ice on Saturday.  He is on the small side but competes for every puck.  He has high-end skills and is very slick and creative with the puck.  His game on Saturday made him the #7 best forward at the camp in AHR’s opinion.  AHR Rating: A
 Scouted on November 10-11, 2012 @ HPHL Showcase-Chicago
Keller boasts a whopping 13 points in 5 games in the HPHL and has an outstanding wrist shot.  He is a power play specialist with a good set of hands to boot.  When you first see him on the ice you wouldn't expect it because he has an awkward stride and has room to grow, but as soon as the puck drops it is pure domination from there.  If he brings his footwork up to speed he should be a top tier prospect for years to come.  Your typical SSM stud. AHR Rating: A

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