The Saskatchewan Rush selected a familiar name with the first overall pick of the 2016 National Lacrosse League draft.
Ryan Keenan, a star for both the Sr.A Brooklin Redmen and Quinnipiac University comes in as a highly touted young forward. Keenan is also the son of Rush head coach and GM Derek Keenan.
“I always dreamed about playing in the NLL but for it to happen the way it did, play with the rush, play with my dad, I never could have dreamed of this,” Keenan told 650 CKOM from the draft floor in Toronto.
Keenan was a star for both Quinnipiac and Brooklin. The Rush were left in a position of taking the best player in the draft, no matter the family situation.
“There is the obvious family connection, but with the first overall pick, you don’t play hunches or favourites,” said Rush head coach and general manager Derek Keenan You take the best player on the board and without a doubt that player is Ryan Keenan.”
— Saskatchewan Rush (@SaskRushLAX) September 27, 2016
While playing for his dad is an exciting prospect, Keenan also has the rare joy of being a first overall pick drafted by the reigning champs.
“It almost takes the pressure off,” Keenan said.
“It’s a great team and now I get to follow in the footsteps of great players.”
In 13 games for Brooklin this past summer, Keenan scored 16 goals to go along with 24 assists. He also won the 2013 Minto Cup with the Jr. A Whitby Warriors.
Stateside with Quinnipiac University, Keenan was just as successful. As a senior in 2016, Keenan helped lead Quinnipiac to its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth. He also led Quinnipiac in scoring with 33 goals and 18 assists and finished his career ranked fourth on the school’s scoring list with 94 goals and fifth in points with 131.
Because of some pre-draft trades, the Rush also had the 3rd overall pick, which they used for defenceman Michael Messenger. Messenger won back-to-back NCAA Div.II championships with Limestone College.
FULL RUSH DRAFT RESULTS
1. Ryan Keenan – Quinnipiac University/Brooklin Redmen
3. Mike Messenger – Limestone College
14. Matthew Hossack – Rochester Institute of Technology
30. Mason Pynn – Drexel University
40. Mike Kaminski – Saskatchewan Swat
48. Spencer Bromley – McGill University
57. Riley McKinnon – Clarington Shamrox