The University of Maine men’s hockey team has landed one of the tallest forwards in the history of the program. Keenan Suthers is a 6-foot-8 center-left wing who has transferred from St. Lawrence University in New York.
He’ll become eligible for the 2021-22 season as under NCAA rules hockey transfers from one Division I school to another must sit out a year.
An NCAA vote on a one-time transfer rule exception that would allow student-athletes in all sports to compete immediately at their new school after transferring has been pushed back to January 2021.
Suthers is practicing with UMaine this season and will have one year of eligibility left.
“You can’t teach 6-foot-8, especially one that can skate like he can,” UMaine head coach Red Gendron said.
He called Suthers a good addition who will be able to spend a year learning UMaine’s systems to prepare for his senior season with the Black Bears.
“He’s skilled and can benefit us in many ways especially since he will get to know what it feels like to be at UMaine,” Gendron said.
“He is an outstanding young man and has practiced and played very well so far.”
Suthers played against UMaine last season when the Black Bears beat St. Lawrence 5-2 and then tied them 1-1 in a series played in Canton, New York. It is the home rink of Division III SUNY Canton and holds fewer than 1,000 spectators.
Suthers was the leading goal scorer last season for the goal-starved Saints as he posted nine along with five assists in 31 games. His three power-play goals tied for the team lead.
St. Lawrence scored only 64 goals in 36 games en route to a 4-27-5 season and its 1.78 goals per game ranked 57th among 60 Division I teams.
The 245-pound Suthers tallied 16 goals and 18 assists in 97 games during his three seasons at St. Lawrence, which had a first-year coach in Brent Brekke last season.
He previously played for Muskegon and Dubuque in the United States Hockey League during the 2016-2017 season and registered 11 goals and 14 assists in 59 games.
Suthers also competed for the United States National Team Development Program’s Under-17 and Under-18 teams.
The native of Tecumseh, Ontario, has dual U.S.-Canadian citizenship.
He is a two-time ECAC All-Academic selection at St. Lawrence who also played on the U.S. Under-17 team that won a silver medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships.
While Suthers was in the U.S. NTDP program, he attended Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. There he played four sports and was the captain and most valuable player on the basketball, hockey and volleyball teams.