|#1 pick Ryan Keenan with father Derek|
Keenan was regarded as the most-pro ready player in the talent pool with a polished game and skill set to match, making him the right fit for the two-time defending league champions. Saskatchewan acquired the pick two years ago by trading Corey Small to Vancouver for the Stealth’s first-round selection.
“The selection of Ryan Keenan is all about what he can bring to the Rush,” said Owner Bruce Urban.
“There is the obvious family connection, but with the first overall pick, you don’t play hunches or favourites. You take the best player on the board and without a doubt that player is Ryan Keenan.”
Keenan, the son of Rush GM/Head Coach Derek Keenan, had an outstanding season with Quinnipiac, leading the school to its first-ever win in the NCAA Championship Tournament. Along the way, Keenan posted a 30-game scoring streak with 51 points including 33 goals, plus a plethora of individual honours including First Team MAAC Conference and MAAC Tournament Team and a spot on the MAAC Conference All-Academic Team. This past summer, Keenan registered 40 points in 13 games with Brooklin (Ontario’s Major Series Lacrosse).
“This is a very special opportunity to join such an amazing organization,” said Ryan Keenan. “It’s really incredible for my family, and I’m looking forward to getting started with the guys.”
“It’s an exciting moment and it’s obviously a big night for our family and for Ryan,” added Derek Keenan. “We’re just thrilled to have him on board with the Rush.”
Saskatchewan also had the third overall pick in the draft after acquiring a first-round selection from the Rochester Knighthawks. With the No. 3 pick, the Rush chose defenceman Michael Messenger from New Westminster (B.C.’s Western Lacrosse Association) where he put up seven points in regular-season action. In junior, Messenger helped the Coquitlam Adanacs win a pair B.C. provincial titles and earn spots in the Minto Cup.
In the third round with the 30th overall pick, the Rush went back to a well they’ve used before. Saskatchewan selected Mason Pynn from Drexel University, which has produced Rush stars Robert Church and Ben McIntosh.
One round later with the 40th pick, the Rush went for homegrown talent as they selected rugged defenceman Michael Kaminski from the Saskatoon Swat. Kaminski played an integral role as the Swat stepped up into its first season at the Junior ‘A’ in the Rocky Mountain League.
In the fifth round at No. 48, the Rush looked Canadian university ranks and opted for Spencer Bromley from the McGill University Redmen (CIS).
The Rush held the final pick of the draft, and in the sixth round at No. 57, Saskatchewan chose Rylee McKinnon from the Whitby Warriors (Ontario Junior ‘A’).