Keegan Kolesar


Winnipeg Manitoba

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3rd Round (69th Overall), 2015


219 lbs.

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2011-12: Keegan Kolesar played for the Winnipeg Hawks bantam team and was selected by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the first round (20th overall) in the 2012 WHL bantam draft. 

2012-13: Kolesar made his WHL debut as a 15-year-old, appearing in a late December game with Seattle, and re-joined the Thunderbirds during the playoffs following his midget AAA season with the Winnipeg Thrashers. He had no points nor penalties and was -2 in three games with Seattle, including two playoff games. Kolesar scored 21 goals with 17 assists and 26 penalty minutes in 41 regular season games for Winnipeg. The Thrashers reached the MMAAAHL finals, falling to the Winnipeg Wild, three games to one. Kolesar scored 3 goals with 4 assists and 4 penalty minutes in 11 playoff games. He played for Team Manitoba in the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup. 

2013-14: Kolesar skated in a lower line role for the Seattle Thunderbirds in his first WHL season and was an assistant captain for the Canada Western U17 team in the 2014 World Hockey Challenge. He scored 2 goals with 6 assists and was -7 with 45 penalty minutes in 60 regular season games. Seattle finished second in the U.S. Division, reaching the second round in the playoffs. Kolesar had 2 assists and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes in nine playoff games. He scored 2 goals with 2 assists and 2 penalty minutes in five games for Canada Western. 

2014-15: Kolesar provided both scoring and physical play for Seattle in his second WHL season before suffering a season-ending arm injury in March that kept him out of the playoffs. He was the Thunderbirds’ fourth-leading scorer, with 19 goals and 19 assists, and was third on the team with 85 penalty minutes. He finished with a -7 plus/minus in 64 games. Seattle was third in the U.S. Division and lost to Portland in a first-round playoff series. Kolesar was invited to the NHL Prospects Combine and was ranked 65th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings. He was selected by Columbus in the third round (69th overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft. 

2015-16: Kolesar was the fourth-leading scorer for the Seattle Thunderbirds while leading the team with 107 penalty minutes in his third WHL season. He scored 30 goals with 31 assists and was +10 in 64 regular season games. Seattle finished first in the U.S. Division and faces Prince George in a first-round playoff series. Kolesar signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Blue Jackets in December 2015.

Talent Analysis

Kolesar has never been much of a scorer, but what he lacks offensively, he makes up for with his team-first intangibles. He plays to his strengths, and understands what he needs to do in order to benefit the team. He has an impressive work ethic, and will consistently do the little things that in turn help those around him. Overall, Kolesar is an efficient package of size, speed, and intensity with an improving offensive acumen.


Kolesar enjoyed a successful 2015-16 season with the first-place Seattle Thunderbirds in his third WHL season, receiving an entry-level NHL contract with Columbus in December 2015. He will compete for a spot with the Blue Jackets in training camp but barring surprise or injury will return to Seattle for his fourth season of junior hockey. Kolesar possesses the rare combination of toughness and scoring ability and projects as a third-line forward.

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