What Drives Rangers Draft Pick Keegan Iverson

Keegan Iverson (WHL Media)

Keegan Iverson (WHL Media)

Keegan Iverson wants to be an NHLer. His dream is no different then any other kid drafted this past summer. However, his inner drive comes from a tragic place.

The Portland Winterhawk standout wears #13 in honor of his friend Jack Jablonski. Both are former Minnesota High School Hockey players. Jack suffered a spinal cord injury during a hockey game that left him paralyzed.

Jack Jablonski surprises coach Ken Pauly & his Red Knights' teamates before their first playoff game (The Score)

Jack Jablonski surprises coach Ken Pauly & his Red Knights’ teamates before their first playoff game (The Score)

In an interview with the Oregonian, he said:

“I decided to wear it (No. 13) for the whole year,’’ said Iverson, who was a wide-eyed 15-year-old rookie in last season’s camp.

“He’s been my best friend probably since I was three years old,” Iverson told the Winterhawks.com website.

“I’ve known him forever. It’s like a tragic thing, but at the same time it motivates me. He motivates me to achieve my goals because they’re his goals, too. He wants to walk again, he wants to play hockey again and I know he can do it. So I’m going to push myself to achieve his goals, too. Help him, be there for him, whatever. Represent his number.’’

Iverson was drafted by the Rangers in the 3rd round. He is a 6’2″, 210 CENTER/WING that hasn’t matured physically yet.

Keegan isn’t afraid to play in traffic and will get dirty. Iverson has also called himself a “power forward” and will “stick up” for his teammates. It’s something that he actually enjoys doing.

He has decent hands and a heavy shot with no fear of standing in traffic. Of course he has some drawbacks like not being a great skater and tends to miss the net a lot. Still, he is only 18 and the skies the limit.

The key reason why the Rangers drafted him is his character, which can be highlighted by his motivation for Jack Jablonski. He is the type of teammate that will win “Extra Effort” and “Player’s Player” awards. He is someone like Adam Graves and it’s someone Rangers’ fans can fall in love with.


Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

Mentioned in this article:

More About: