Tigers, RoughRiders graduate Keefer sets future, on and off the ice, with Army West Point commitment
Representing your country and playing college hockey seems like a dream, right?
Brent Keefer agrees with that notion and will be doing both next season after the Northeast Generals and NAHL standout recently committed to Army West Point, a school that plays in the NCAA Division I Atlantic Hockey conference.
“This opportunity came about with my coaches and GM where Army reached out to them and were in contact with them for a while, and then they reached out to me,” said Keefer, an Oklahoma native who played youth hockey for the Colorado Springs Tigers and Rocky Mountain RoughRiders. “On the hockey side, it is a brotherhood where they preach family and coming together as one, so that’s what popped out to me first. There is so much history on the hockey side. On the academic side, getting a degree at West Point is one of the best things you can have academic-wise.”
Keefer, who will start the next chapter in his career next fall, said there is a military background in his family as his father’s grandfather was in the Army and his father’s grandfather’s nephew is a West Point graduate.
Joining the Generals in November 2020 after playing the 2019-20 season and the start of 2020-21 for the Shreveport Mudbugs, Keefer has been an electrifying presence in the lineup ever since. In 39 games last season, he scored eight goals while adding 12 assists for 20 points. This season, he has 15 goals and 22 assists for 37 points, including five game-winning goals, in 37 games.
“Brent is such an amazing young man,” Northeast head coach Bryan Erikson said. “He has bought into what we are doing here from Day 1, and we are really excited for him to play for such a prestigious program such as West Point. We are really happy that he will get to play for Coach (Brian) Riley and Coach (Zach) McKelvie, who are two of the best coaches in the business.
“Brent has matured a ton as a player and a person in his two years here and developed into a tremendous leader. His hockey IQ is off the charts as is his compete level. I am just so proud of Brent. Just a great kid that I couldn’t be happier for.”
Generals general manager Matt Dibble added, “I am happy for Brent and happy for West Point. It’s always good to see a worthy player commit to playing Division I college hockey, but when it’s West Point, it feels even better. Brent has been a huge part of what we have built in Attleboro (Mass.), and we expect him to be a huge part of an established program there.”
This season, Keefer was selected to the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament that took place this week in suburban Pittsburgh but was unable to play due to an injury.
“Being selected for Top Prospects was awesome,” Keefer said. “It was a great honor.”
Looking ahead, Keefer’s goals are simple as the NAHL season nears the home stretch.
“My expectations for the rest of the year are to have a big push to end the season and then win the Robertson Cup,” Keefer said.
(February 10, 2022)