Flint signs first-rounder

Randy Russon
May 31, 2017

Power forward Ethan Keppen, who was taken by the Flint Firebirds in the first round, 10th overall, at the 2017 minor midget draft, has signed on with the Ontario Hockey League team.

“He is a tremendous hockey player and an outstanding person that will be a big part of our nucleus moving forward,” said first-year Firebirds general manager Barclay Branch. “On the ice, he fits the power-forward type mold. He possesses good size, is a strong skater and can make good things happen both with the puck in a skill sense and without the puck in a physical sense.”

Keppen, who hails from Whitby, Ont., was a point-per-game player with the Toronto Nationals minor midgets in 2016-2017.

Firebirds head coach Ryan Oulahen likes what he has seen in Keppen, a strapping 6-foot-1, 197-pound left winger.

“In having the chance to get to know him over the last couple of months, you really can match up the style of play that he has with his personality and traits,” Oulahen said of Keppen. “Ethan is a real sincere, down-to-earth person. He’s a fearless competitor with a tremendous work ethic.”

Keppen is looking forward to playing in the OHL for Flint.

“It’s been a dream of mine to play in the OHL since I was younger and I am excited to have this opportunity,” Keppen began. “I’ve already seen such great things about the fans and facilities in Flint. I know we have a great group of guys here and I am looking forward to playing with them. It’s going to be a great ride in Flint.”

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