Defenseman Keegan Kanzig Returns to Steelheads for 2019-20 Season
BOISE, Idaho - Defenseman Keegan Kanzig has agreed to terms with the Idaho Steelheads for the 2019-20 season, returning to Boise for his second season, the team announced Tuesday.
"It's nice to be going back to a familiar spot," said Kanzig. "I'm confident we'll have another quality team next year. It seems like there's a good group of our guys returning from last year already, so it's exciting to see that and be going back to a great organization and a great city."
Kanzig, 24, played all 72 games with the Steelheads in the 2018-19 season, posting four goals and 14 assists for 18 points with 167 penalty minutes and a plus-30 rating. The Athabasca, Alb. product led the team in rating and also played all 11 playoff games with an additional four points (1g, 3a) and 41 penalty minutes. He was named an assistant captain in November, was awarded 2018-19 Steelheads Defenseman of the Year, and was voted by the Professional Hockey Players' Association (PHPA) as the Best Defensive Defenseman in the Western Conference.
In three ECHL seasons, Kanzig owns 28 points (5g, 23a) with a plus-62 rating through 175 games between Idaho, the Florida Everblades and Adirondack Thunder while helping the Everblades to the 2018 Kelly Cup Final. Despite being focused on the defensive side of the puck, the 6-foot-7, 247-pound Kanzig had a career year during his third professional season, being one of just two Steelheads players to play in every game in the regular season and postseason while notching career-highs in all categories - games played, goals, assists, points, rating, power play goals (one), shorthanded points (three) - crediting the experience and the right fit as a player.
"The experience of having those pro years under my belt and starting to get a lay of the land of what the league is like and pro hockey is like helped me be better prepared going into the season. I've had the privilege of playing in great places, but Boise is a better fit for me as far as the hockey side goes. It just seemed to connect."
Kanzig began his professional career with the Stockton Heat, earning two assists through nine games during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons while making his professional debut on Oct. 21, 2015 against the Texas Stars. Prior to his professional career, he posted 19 goals and 40 assists for 59 points with 565 penalty minutes through 319 career WHL games between the Victoria Royals and Calgary Hitmen. Kanzig was drafted 67th overall (3rd Round) by the Calgary Flames in the 2013 NHL Draft.
This marks the fifth player revealed by the Steelheads returning to the organization, joining defensemen Jeff King and Eric Sweetman as well as forward Kyle Schempp and Captain A.J. White. Future player announcements will be made at a later date.
"The fans are great. We have great crowds that come and support us every night, which is huge. It's like having an extra attacker on the ice; to see that support from the community is a big one and to have that extra push behind us. Boise itself is a great city, a good size. There's a lot to do outdoors, so it's a great fit for me there, too."
The Steelheads return to CenturyLink Arena on Friday, Oct. 18 for the 2019-20 Home Opener against the Wichita Thunder. Season tickets and flex plans for the 2019-20 season are now available! Call the Steelheads Front Office at 208-383-0080 to plan your seats for next season. Stay connected to the Steelheads throughout the summer on idahosteelheads.com or by following the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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