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Road to the NHL Draft: Roland McKeown

By John Vogl

Roland McKeown

Position: Defense

Junior team: Kingston (OHL)

Born: Windsor, Ont.

Measurables: 6-foot-1, 195 pounds

2013-14 stats: 62 games, 11 goals, 32 assists, 43 points

Central Scouting rank: No. 27 (North America)

Lowdown: Scouts traveled to Kingston to see Samuel Bennett, a possible No. 1 overall pick, and they couldn’t help but notice McKeown. The offense-minded defenseman is the sixth-best blue-line prospect, according to Central Scouting.

McKeown’s skating sets him apart from other defenders. His acceleration allows him to pull away from players in his own zone and start rush chances. His speed enables him to catch up to players and break up chances in the defensive end. His shot is hard and accurate. He can pass well but prefers to carry the puck.

While he has improved defensively, McKeown has a tendency to pinch often. It can result in the opposition taking advantage and going the other way on an odd-man rush. He’s not a physical blue-liner.

He said it: “I believe my game translates well at the next level. I think my skating, agility, IQ and strength to battle in the corners are all key components to making a successful pro, and I feel being able to do those things will get me to the next level." – McKeown, to

The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL draft, which begins June 27.


NHL Entry Draft
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

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Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

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