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NHL Draft Profile: Keith McInnis

Photo credit: Davin Beer

The 2024 NHL Draft is set to take place on June 28 and 29 at The Sphere in Las Vegas, Nev. NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings include 10 players that played in the BCHL last year.

Leading up to the draft, we will share interviews with the prospects about the draft process and a variety of other subjects.

The BCHL’s 2024 NHL Draft coverage is presented by Chevrolet.


2023-24 was a whirlwind season for Keith McInnis. He started the year with Waterloo of the USHL, then joined the Brooks Bandits midseason, and after six games the team started up with the BCHL in early February.

Despite the turnover, McInnis had a good year, finishing his BCHL stint with four goals and seven assists in 20 regular-season games and eventually winning the Alberta Cup and the Rocky Mountain Challenge.

His season caught the attention of the NHL scouting world and saw him included on Central Scouting’s Final Rankings ahead of this weekend’s draft.

We spoke with McInnis about playing for the Bandits, his thoughts on the draft and more.


BCHL: You were able to cap off an eventful year with a couple of year-end trophies in the Alberta Cup and the Rocky Mountain Challenge. What did it mean to you and your teammates to get those wins?

McInnis: I look at a couple of my teammates who had been in Brooks for three years of their junior career and they won a championship every year. It’s a testament to how hard we work and how dedicated we are to our craft and to winning. Looking back on this year, it was so surreal, just the way we handled everything and the way we battled. I was just so happy we came out on top in the end.

BCHL: What was it like for you playing for the Bandits organization?

McInnis: My cousin [Josh Zinger] played for Brooks and won a national championship a couple of years ago. I looked up to him so much and learned so much from him, to follow in his footsteps and win a championship with Brooks, it was a storybook ending to the season for me. I was ecstatic to get to play for the Bandits organization.

BCHL: You’re coming back to Brooks next year. How much are you looking forward to getting things going again and being fully integrated into the BCHL?

McInnis: It’s going to be awesome. I’m super excited. For us as an organization and as players, coming back, after doing what we did this year, we want to show everyone we can play with the best throughout the entire year and go through the ups and downs and through the travel, everything that comes with playing in the BCHL. We want to show that we didn’t just get lucky last year and we deserve it.

BCHL: If you were speaking to an NHL general manager or scout, how would you describe your game and how would it translate to the next level?

McInnis: I would describe myself as a physical 200-foot defenceman who has strong defensive abilities and a strong stick. I have the ability to shut down plays. I would also say that my offensive game has grown a tremendous amount over the second half of my year in Brooks. As for the next level, I try to watch as many defencemen in the NHL as I can and I model my game after some of them.

BCHL: What would it mean to you if you were to get drafted?

McInnis: Every kid wants to hear their name called. It’s a pretty cool opportunity. At the end of the day, whether I go or I don’t, I still have a lot of years down the line where I can keep working and proving myself. ’ll be watching and hoping to see a lot of my buddies go. Whether I get drafted or not, I’ll be happy for them.