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Red Wings Pick Heading to UMass

Keenan moving up to college ranks



Larry Keenan, Red Wings prospect
Red Wings 2023 draftee defenseman Larry Keenan will play NCAA hockey next season for the UMass Minutemen.

Following a solid season in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) with the Penticton Vees, Detroit Red Wings draftee Larry Keenan is ready to go to college.

On Monday, the UMass Minutemen made official what had already been speculated. They were announcing the addition of Keenan to their 2024 recruiting class.

“Larry is a tall, smooth-skating defenseman that should be an immediate difference maker when he steps foot on campus,” UMass coach Greg Carvel said. “His offensive game has continued to grow over the last few years, while he has always maintained the ability to defend with his feet and his frame.”

Keenan owns an NHL pedigree. He’s the grandson of former NHLer Larry Keenan, who was the scorer of the first goal in St. Louis Blues franchise history. The elder Keenan was also an original with the Buffalo Sabres when that franchise joined the NHL in 1970.

Keenan A 2023 Red Wings Draftee

The Red Wings made Keenan the 117th overall selection of the 2023 NHL entry draft. He was already verbally committed to UMass when the Red Wings chose Keenan on draft day.

“I’m a big, solid defenseman,” Keenan said. Just 19, he already stands 6-foot-3 and weighs in at 185 pounds.

“I have a good two-way game,” Keenan said. “Still developing physically but I think Detroit will enjoy my hockey IQ, my good playmaking and good work ethic.”

He was a BCHL All-Rookie Team selection this past season with Penticton. In 53 games, Keenan would account for 6-24-30 totals. He’d add 2-7-9 numbers through 22 playoff games.

Keenan was named playoff MVP for the Vees.

“Larry elevated his game throughout the entire two-month playoff run,” Vees coach Fred Harbinson said. “His play with and without the puck was a major contributor to our 14 playoff wins.”

Prior to that, Keenan, who’s from Midhurst, Ontario, would spend two seasons playing US prep school hockey at Culver Military Academy. In 91 games there he would accumulate 21-44-65 digits.

“Yeah it’s like a military leadership school,” Keenan said of the Culver experience. “You’re like a new cadet when you first get into Culver and then you graduate from the new cadet and then you’re like a leader on campus.

“I really enjoyed the whole aspect of leadership at Culver. We had a really tight group of guys. We all enjoyed each other in the locker room, on the ice. It made it really fun to go to the rink each day. That was something we enjoyed.

“I’m a strong student, so I figured I could use hockey as a way to get schooling done through the college route. And then Culver was just kind of the next step towards that goal for my process towards reaching that.”