Defensive depth was a bit of a stumbling block for Montreal in the 2013-2014 season and while the cupboard isn’t bare, it wouldn’t hurt to keep to it stocked with some solid defensive talent. With Montreal’s fine showing during the playoffs, they will be picking late in the first round. Should Roland McKeown of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs be available,
the Habs should give him some consideration.
Born: Jan 20, 1996 – Listowel, Ontario
Height: 6’1” Weight: 195 lbs Shoots: Right
ISS Rank: 23 THN Rank: 27 McKeens Rank: 24
McKeown is certainly not the highest ranked defenceman available in the draft but scouting reports mark him as one to watch. He’s been described as a little rough around the edges, but the positives peg him for a solid two-way defender with potential to grow.
Among the knocks is his questionable decision-making at times. Scouts say while he does possess the ability for strong outlet passes and intelligent play on
offence as well as the back end, he does make questionable plays. His pinching appears to be an issue at times as he doesn’t possess the natural grace in his stride to recover as quickly if he gets caught. He has the ability to make pinpoint passes, but has the ability for erratic passing in both zones.
While he’s not enormous, and he likely has some weight to put on, McKeown is a fairly big, solid, physical presence. He doesn’t use his size as much as scouts seem to think he should and the term ‘lacks consistency’ has been thrown around in several reports. While he seems to be a work in progress and not an NHL ready draft pick, he has first-round potential to grow as he refines his game in the minors
and could be an interesting prospect down the road for whatever team drafts him.