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Carrying His Grandfather’s Name, Red Wings Prospect Keenan Seeking to Carry On His Legacy

Keenan hoping to follow path paved by his granddad

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Larry Keenan
Red Wings 2023 draftee Larry Keenan is hoping to emulate his grandfather, also named Larry Keenan, and play in the NHL.

Detroit Red Wings prospect Larry Keenan is carrying a well-known name in hockey circles. His also hoping to carry on the legacy of that name.

His grandfather Larry Keenan would play 234 NHL games for the Toronto Maple Leafs, St. Louis Blues, Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers between 1961-72. The elder Keenan, 82, skated in three Stanley Cup finals with the Blues and for the Sabres during their inaugural NHL campaign in 1970-71.

“I know he was a pretty good player,” said grandson Larry Keenan, at 18 too young to have been around to witness his granddad’s NHL career. “He got some injuries but he scored the first goal for St. Louis. He prides himself quite a bit over that. He was also on the ice for Bobby Orr’s famous (Stanley Cup-winning) goal in 1970. He enjoyed playing.”

The Keenan name also carries some significant weight with Red Wings director of amateur scouting Kris Draper.

“His grandfather played at St. Mike’s with my dad (Bruce) back in the day,” Draper said. “He came into the interview room and said, ‘My grandfather played with your dad.’ I don’t know if he was trying to make me feel old saying his grandfather and my dad, but pretty cool story.”

Larry Keenan the NHLer was a left-winger. His grandson is a defenseman. This version of Larry Keenan also knows he’s got a long way to go before he can follow his grandfather’s path to the NHL.

Keenan A Big Defenseman Who Can Skate

“He understands he needs to develop,” Draper said of the player they selected 117th overall in the 2023 NHL entry draft. “He has to get stronger. He realizes that. He has a good feel for what he is, he has a good feel for what he has to improve on.

“We feel we got another big D man who can skate. That’s so important in today’s game.”

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Keenan spent the 2022-23 season playing prep school hockey at Culver Academy. He’s heading to Penticton of the BCHL next season, with the ultimate goal being NCAA hockey at UMass.

“I’m a big, solid defenseman,” the 6-foot-3, 185-pound left shot Keenan said. “I have a good two-way game. Still developing physically but I think Detroit will enjoy my hockey IQ, my good playmaking and good work ethic.”