The London Knights must have felt a little thin on defense with Evan Bouchard and Adam Boqvist off playing in the World Junior Championship. The powerhouse OHL organization has added another top option to their blue line, trading for Joey Keane from the Barrie Colts. Keane himself was almost suiting up for Team USA at the tournament, but was one of the final cuts just before Christmas.
After going undrafted in his first year of eligibility, Keane was snapped up in the third round by the New York Rangers in June after putting up a solid season with Barrie. His 44 points in 62 games were impressive, but it’s Keane’s legitimate shutdown ability that intrigued most scouts. While he’s not the biggest or strongest, the Illinois native is a force in his own end with his exceptional reads, and will only strengthen what is already a dominant London blue line. The opportunity he’ll get to compete in the OHL playoffs will only help his development as he tries to jump to the professional ranks down the road.
- While the Department of Player Safety is looking more closely at a David Backes hit, they’ve already handed out punishment for a different incident last night. Dustin Byfuglien has been fined $2,500 for slashing Johnny Gaudreau in last night’s Winnipeg-Calgary game. When Gaudreau beat Byfuglien at the Calgary blue line and had a clear path for an empty-net goal to seal the win, the Jets defenseman spun and delivered a forceful slash. While he won’t serve any suspension for it, the incident will be taken into account in any future supplementary discipline. Gaudreau practiced today for Calgary.
- It seems the Boston Bruins can’t possibly have everyone healthy at the same time. After activating Zdeno Chara, Kevan Miller and Jake Debrusk yesterday, the team has placed Charlie McAvoy on injured reserve today in order to get under the 23-man roster limit. McAvoy’s injury is only expected to keep him out a few days, but will definitely keep him out of tomorrow’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. Whether he’ll be ready for Tuesday’s Winter Classic at Notre Dame is still undetermined.