Hockey East

Maine loses leading goal scorer and top-scoring defenseman to NHL

Maine saw junior center Chase Pearson and sophomore defenseman Brady Keeper sign pro deals, ending the college careers.

Pearson signed to a two-year deal by the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, the team that selected him in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. A native of Cornwall, Ontario, Pearson put up his best offensive season this year, with 16 goals and 29 points and a plus-21 rating. For his Maine career, Pearson had 37 goals and 78 points in 107 games.

Chase’s father, Scott Pearson, played 292 NHL games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Quebec Nordiques, Edmonton Oilers, Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders during a professional career that spanned from 1988-00.

Meanwhile, Keeper also received a two-year deal, this one from Florida, as a free agent.

“Brady is a promising puck-moving defenseman who possesses strong offensive instincts and plays a physical game,” Florida general manager Dale Tallon said. “He has been a leader for the University of Maine and found success as one of the team’s top defenders. We are excited for Brady to join the Panthers and continue to grow his game.”

Keeper, 22, played 36 games for the Black Bears this season, with seven goals and 22 points. The 6-foot-2, 194-pound native of Cross Lake, Manitoba, was 13-31—44 in 73 games at Maine.

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