Clayton Keller didn’t score — in fact, he didn’t even register a shot — but his NHL debut last night in St. Louis garnered high praise from Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett.
“He looks like a good player,” Tippett said, per the Arizona Republic. “He’s got good skill. He’s certainly not worried about getting into any confrontations. He plays hard along the wall. He’s not a big guy, but he competes hard. He looks like a hockey player. He’s got great hockey sense. You watch how he manages a game between line changes, just managing the puck, it was a good start for him.”
The Coyotes lost the game, 4-1, but Keller finished with an even rating in 12:21 of even-strength action. The 18-year-old also logged 1:48 on the power play.
Keller grew up in suburban St. Louis, so debuting against the Blues at Scottrade Center was doubly special.
“It’s pretty cool growing up coming to games here,” he said. “It was really special to have the first one here.”