Hotshot Keck counts his blessings over Blaze move

Tristan Keck is leading the way in points with 16 (PHOTO: Scott Wiggins)

Coventry Blaze forward Tristan Keck says he’s lucky for the opportunity to play at the Elite Series.

The Canadian has been a revelation in the competition so far, picking up 16 points in nine games as Danny Stewart’s side sit second going into the final few ‘regular season’ fixtures.

And, in a year where he’d planned to turn pro after leaving University of Nebraska-Omaha Athletics last year after four years, Keck revealed how he kept going through a very difficult 12 months.

“It’s been an interesting season for everyone,” he said as a guest on this week’s BIH Show. “With Covid and the way things ended in college, we didn’t know what to expect and going into this year, it would have been nice to have had somewhere to play.  

“It would have been nice, but I’m very fortunate this came along and I’m grateful Danny was able to give me a chance.

“Over the last year, my dad owns a business so I was able to put some hours in there and working out, staying in shape with the motivation that a call would be coming.

Keck hasn’t looked beyond the Elite Series on where his future lies (PHOTO: Scott Wiggins)

“We actually had a mini rink built into the front yard as it was cold enough to do that so I was able to skate when everything was closed in Manitoba.  I felt I was game ready so that was a big help.

“It was certainly a challenge over the last year in trying to stay positive and I used the mindset that the phone call was coming, which helped me stay motivated.

“There were harder days than others, but it was good to be able to keep myself going so that made it a lot easier for me.

“I know a lot of guys who couldn’t get to a gym or even get on the ice so I was very lucky.”

Keck has certainly impressed since joining the Blaze and his skating, plus his eye for goal have been key attributes for Danny Stewart and his team.

The 25-year-old spoke of his experience so far, how his body has reacted to the heavy schedule of games in the last couple of weeks and what the future holds.

“It’s a lot of fun here and a lot more fun than I’ve had in a long time,” Keck added. “I’m just enjoying playing and working with a coach like Danny, who wants us to play as freely as possible, is huge.

“Having the confidence of him and my line mates is definitely a huge boost.  There’s a good core and leadership group and we’ve gelled really quickly.

“As the schedule gets heavier, it definitely benefitted me to have got some time on the ice before coming here.  If you’re going with no hockey for a year, it’s definitely good to get playing as many games as possible and that’s the way I’m looking at it.

“The muscles do get sore, but the staff are looking after us well and I’m just happy to play.

“After this, I haven’t thought about what I’m doing next.  I’m just approaching it a game at a time so there’s no decisions from me yet about the future, but the goal is to win the Series and that’s where my mind is at.”

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