Prospect Profile: Keaton Dowhaniuk

Photo Via (CSSHL)

Name: Keaton Dowhaniuk

Team: OHA Edmonton (CSSHL)

Position: Defense

Hometown: Sherwood Park, Alberta

Height/Weight: 5’10 160lbs

Hand: Left

WHL Draft: 

DraftGeek Rank: 5


Areas of Strength

  • Assertiveness
  • All Situations Game
  • Poise

Areas of Weakness

  • Blue Line Mobility
  • Quicken Decisions

Report: Keaton Dowhaniuk is seen as the top defenseman available in the draft by likely every team in the WHL. A blue chip prospect with the frame work of a top pairing WHL defenseman. Dowhaniuk is a formidable two-way defenseman who plays with a sort of assertiveness and control that a top pairing WHL defender would exemplify. Dowhaniuk is physical mature above his age, with the sort of strength and physical presence that he imposes every chance he gets. A smooth fluid skater with a wide skating stance and fleet footed movement. Uber-heavy in his defensive end, closing the distance quickly to puck carriers along the wall quickly and delivering solid checks that sting the designated target. An instincts driven defenseman with excellent hockey sense and situational awareness. Dowhaniuk always has his head up and engaged in his defensive end, keeps an active stick out and adjusts his positioning based on the weakness points he recognizes. Dowhaniuk boxes guys out in front, gives his goalie a clear lane of sight, and isn’t afraid of blocking shots. Keaton defends with applying suffocating pressure, he’s an intimidating player to see closing in on you and swats pucks off players sticks before finishing his checks. Dowhaniuks ability to defend the rush is elite, the read’s he makes through the neutral zone, controlling the gap tightly and holding skaters to the outside, Dowhaniuk makes himself look wide when skating backwards and commands the ice. Dowhaniuk could be seen as a puck moving defense as well, he deliver snaps passes with a similar delivery style that his brother Logan had. Hitting his target with crisp heavy passes on the tape. Dowhaniuk sets up his passes with a proactive stride to the right, changing the angle of his distribution in transition and allowing him to adjust where he targets the passes last minute, opening himself up to his defensive partner where he can snap it over to quickly if the passing option closes. The puck management abilities he possesses are impressive to say the least, accountable and reliable. As efficient as he is with his passes, he’s also incredibly dependable as a puck transporter as well. With how smooth his feet are he’s able to skate pucks up on his own untouched and gain clean zone to zone possession, Dowhaniuk will use his feet as well at times when he sets up his passes by taking a few extra strides to the red line and getting the puck down deep if there’s no other options for him. In the offensive end, Dowhaniuk plays a commanding game well thought out game. Every movement he does with the puck on his stick is lead with a firm leg in front, used to protect when controlling up to wall or when walking the puck into the middle of the ice. Dowhaniuk has a powerful wrist shot with a quick snap release, often rises off his stick and targeted to score. I would like to see him move quicker on the blue line and set up goals more often. He relies on the power of his shot to explode rebounds off pads and create scoring chances through that. Overall Dowhaniuk is balanced two-way defenseman that stays calm in all situations and excels in all areas of the game. Imposing strength and processes the defensive game smartly, Dowhaniuk has all the tools of a top pairing WHL defenseman.