Toledo Walleye: What happened to Adam Keefe?

Belfast Telegraph

The Toledo Walleye have had some talented players come through the organization in their history. However, no player has grabbed the attention of the fan base and brought the same energy every game as former Toledo forward Adam Keefe. A player who would not back down from a fight, Keefe was also a solid offensive contributor that most people forget about. What is he up to now?

Former Walleye Keefe successful behind the bench

Keefe played his junior career in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) from 2000/01- 2004/05 and turned into quite the prospect. Although he went undrafted, he had quite the career, spanning many teams over many leagues across the world. Keefe started in the OHL with the Sudbury Wolves from 2000/01- 2001/02. During that time, he had five goals and 12 assists for 17 points and 108 penalty minutes in 66 games. He would then play for the Kitchener Rangers, producing 47 goals and 72 assists for 119 points and 975 penalty minutes in 294 games. He won the Memorial Cup with Kitchener in the 2002/03 season.

After going undrafted, he found himself in the ECHL with the Toledo Storm to make his pro debut. He left his mark in his short stint, scoring 11 goals and 10 assists for 21 points and 174 penalty minutes in 28 games. After a successful start to his professional career, he also played for the Manitoba Moose, Grand Rapids Griffins, and San Antonio Rampage in the AHL. He would make two more stops in the ECHL with the Victoria Salmon Kings and the Toledo Walleye.

His tremendous career in North America was over, and he took his talents overseas for the first time in his career. Keefe would land in the EIHL (Elite Ice Hockey League) with the Belfast Giants. This was a different league but would include the same results. He produced 51 goals and 73 assists for 124 points and 1,066 penalty minutes in 318 games. For Belfast, he was the assistant coach during the 2011/12 season and was named captain for the 2012/13 through the 2016/17 season.

Keefe announced his retirement from the game of hockey in 2017 and was named the new coach of the Belfast Giants, replacing Derrick Walser. This was Keefe’s first head coaching job, and many would find out that he was as successful behind the bench as he was on the ice.

With the Giants, his team won the EIHL Cup from 2011/12 through the 2014/15 and then again in 2016/17. The 2014/15 team also won the Continental Cup. His accomplishments were recognized by his peers and he was rewarded by being named an assistant coach, along with Corey Nielson, to the Great Britian men’s national ice hockey team, coached by Pete Russell.

Stepping away from a long storied career on the ice has Keefe a new lease on life as he took that knowledge from his playing career to behind the bench and learned to be a tremendous head coach. He traded his hockey stick for a suit, but he kept the same relentless, aggressive approach to the game. As the younger brother of Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe, he keeps the same attitude within the game of hockey and hopes to one day follow his brother to assume the duties of NHL head coach in the future.

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