Keenan Taphorn won a championship with the Yorkton U-15 Terriers in the 2013-2014 season. He put up eight points in nine playoff games. The following year, the Yorkton native helped the team win another title and he dominated in the process.
In 24 regular-season games, he scored 30 goals and added 46 assists. Five playoff games led up to winning a championship and he scored four more goals while adding five assists. After that year, he was drafted 34th overall by the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League. Keenan’s brother, Kaeden played on the two title-winning teams with Keenan. He had had 121 points in 40 games in the second of back-to-back championships.
He was drafted 47th overall by the Vancouver Giants which meant the twin brothers were likely going their separate ways for the first time; however, that wasn’t the case. Ultimately Kaeden was acquired by Kootenay and he joined his brother on the Ice.
After they both made their WHL debuts together in the 2015-2016 season while they were with the U-18 Yorkton Maulers. They played two full seasons with Kootenay. 11 games into the 2018-2019 season, the Yorkton twins were traded to the Moose Jaw Warriors.
They finished that season with the Warriors before playing eight games last year with them. Keenan had five goals while Kaeden had one goal and one assist. Those eight games brought an end to their WHL careers.
They moved back to Yorkton to join the Terriers, a team they had grown up watching and still followed during their times in the WHL. As the preseason begins this weekend, Keenan talks about how it felt to come back to Yorkton with his twin brother.
“Growing up watching Yorkton, it was really exciting to come back home and play in front of all of our family and friends,” said Keenan. “It was a decision that we made together and we were very happy to come back home.”
With Yorkton, Keenan had 10 goals and 30 points in 33 games while Kaeden tickled the twine 14 times and he added 19 assists. In the playoffs, the dominant hometown duo combined for 13 points in four games.
They only played four games because the novel coronavirus shuttered last season when the team was tied two-games apiece against La Ronge in the first round of the playoffs. After months of uncertainty, the Saskatchewan Hockey Association announced its Return-to-Play plan and with that, the SJHL did as well, at least for the preseason.
Keenan and Kaeden will be on the ice this weekend (October 23 and 24) for two games against the Melville Millionaires, the team’s closest rival.
“We’ve been practicing for more than a month so it’s a great feeling that we’ll be able to implement what we have worked on at practice into a game,” offered Keenan. “I think everyone is super excited to get going here.”
Plain and simple, Keenan and Kaeden are inseparable. They have played on every team together since they began their hockey journey in their younger days. Their road has included stops in Kootenay and Moose Jaw. Now being back where they grew up, the Taphorn’s have big plans for their final junior hockey season.
“We lost some pretty big firepower from last season. With that said, we brought in some top-notch guys and we’re definitely confident,” offered Keenan. “This program has built a winning culture in the past couple of years. Kaedan and I want to do anything we can to help this team win games.
There is no doubt a special bond between Keenan and Kaeden. They have proven they are leaders in the past and that’s exactly what they will be this year.
The Terriers have announced their leadership group and Keenan and Kaeden will share captain status. Keenan will be captain on home ice while Kaeden will serve as captain on the road.
“Any time you’re named a captain it’s extremely surreal,” ended Keenan. “It’s an honour, especially with Kaeden being our final year. We’re extremely proud and we’re going to work hard.”