Draft Retrospective

Draft Retrospective: Clayton Keller and the importance of translatability

Clayton Keller is the NHL’s forgotten star. 

Few players in the NHL are more dynamic; he’s an electrifying presence and creative force. 

Preceding Keller’s times with the Coyotes, he looked like a star-to-be. Watching his draft season back in 2015-16 was like stepping into the future. A few years before the lacrosse move became common, he was faking it to set up teammates. 

And it wasn’t just the flash. His 107-point, 1.73-per-game season with the USNTDP has only been bested by Jack Hughes, Auston Matthews, and Phil Kessel. As an 18-year-old, he carried Boston University with nearly a point-and-a-half-per-game before putting on a show at both the World Juniors and World Championships.

Not much has changed in Keller’s game since then. He’s still the same entertainer, with a game heavily leaning on speed, playmaking, and flashy moves; mouth guard still clinging on for dear life as he rips up and down the ice.

But little change doesn’t mean his development has been a disappointment. It’s a testament to the refined nature of Keller’s game all the way back in 2015-2016.{

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NHL Draft Retrospective Arizona Coyotes Boston Univ. Boston Univ. Boston Univ. Boston Univ. U.S. National U18 Team USHL USDP NHL NCAA Clayton Keller
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