Thank You To Our Graduating Players
Every year most major junior teams have to say goodbye to their players that have aged-out of the Western Hockey League and move on from their major junior hockey careers.
Whether they continue on with their dream of playing professional hockey, use the WHL Scholarship fund for their post secondary-education or even find a job outside of the hockey world, it is always a significant step in a players life.
This year for Portland we have three Winterhawks that have reached the end of their junior hockey careers in Cole Kehler, Alex Overhardt and Keoni Texeira.
All three Winterhawks have had major roles in the success of Portland over the last several years. We thank all three Winterhawks for their time spent with the Winterhawks.
Born in Denver, Colorado, Alex Overhardt was drafted in the 11th round of the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft. In 2014-15, Overhardt spent his first year in Portland, registering 11 points in his rookie season. He also played 17 games during the Hawks run to the Western Conference Finals.
Over the next several seasons, Alex would cement himself has a hard-nosed, two-way center, who played a physically imposing style of hockey. In his final year with Portland, Overhardt ranked second in the Western Hockey League in faceoff percentage, and was a key component of Portland’s 5th ranked penalty-kill this season. He was also named an alternate captain for Portland at the beginning of the year.
In the end, Alex played 273 regular season games for Portland and 43 playoff games. He recorded 40 goals, 106 points and 291 penalty minutes.
Alex Overhardt leaves the Winterhawks this offseason as an over-ager having played 273 regular season games and 43 postseason contests.
Alex spoke earlier today about his season and his time with Portland: pic.twitter.com/4VqctTbpm1
— Portland Winterhawks (@pdxwinterhawks) April 16, 2018
Cole was originally a 6th round selection of the Kamloops Blazers in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft. After spending three seasons within the Kamloops organization, Portland acquired Cole prior to the 2016-17 season.
In his first season with Portland, Kehler played in 56 games, and recorded a 3.10 GAA and a .910 SV%. Cole led Portland into the postseason last year, and was a major-factor in the Winterhawks upset win over the higher-seeded Prince George Cougars.
Kehler continued to impress this season for Portland. He registered the second-best GAA in the league at 2.77, and was top-5 in the Western Hockey League in wins and shutouts. He was twice named “CHL Goaltender of the Week” and three times “WHL Goaltender of the Week”. His play was noticed by the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL, and midway through the year, LA signed Cole to an NHL-contract.
In total, he played 141 regular season games in the Western Hockey League, including 109 games with Portland, recording 64 wins and six shutouts. He also had 10 postseason wins in his two years here in the Rose City.
Keoni Texeira was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft. His first experience with Portland came during the Hawks 2012-13 Memorial Cup run, although Keoni never played in a game, he traveled with the team for the majority of the Hawks incredible postseason and took plenty from the experience.
In his rookie year with Portland, Keoni played 65 games on the Hawks blueline, putting up 16 points. In the postseason, Texeira played in 21 contests, scoring twice, including a massive goal in Portland’s come from behind victory in Game 6 of the WHL Finals in Edmonton.
Over the next several seasons, Texeira would cement himself as a leader, dependable two-way physical defenseman, and a fan-favorite. Between 2014 and 2017, Keoni was “Mr. Reliable” on the Hawks blueline, playing in over 200 straight games.
At the beginning of the 2017-18 season, Keoni was named the 42nd captain in Winterhawks franchise history. He was a leader on-and-off the ice in his final year with the Winterhawks, and helped lead Portland to a 44 win regular-season and the second round of the playoffs.
In the end, Texeira played the second most-games in Winterhawks franchise history at 344, and also registered 65 total postseason games, the 12th most all-time.
— Keoni Texeira (@keoni_texeira) April 16, 2018