(Editors Note: In the countdown to the season opener on September 19th, I will be looking at each individual returning player in an extended profile)
Hometown: Fontana, California
How Acquired: 2nd Round (26th Overall) Bantam Pick in 2012.
NHL Drafted: Eligible in 2015
-2013/14: 65 Games Played, 2 Goals, 14 Assists, 16 Points, +21, 30 Penalty Minutes
Playoffs: 21 GP, 2 G, 3 A, 5 Pts, 8 PIMs.
-Texeira made a strong impression on Hawk's fans last season, especially after his first WHL goal was the teddy bear toss goal on 12/19. If Texeira is not the fastest Winterhawk on the roster, he is somewhere close. Early in his first season in the Dub, he did not have the confidence to lead the rush up the ice, but as the year went on, he showed more and more confidence. This confidence enabled him to blow past defenders on numerous occasions, setting up solid goal scoring chances. Keoni, also has a fantastic slap shot and as he becomes more knowledgeable in Portland's offensive system, he will use this as a power play quarterback in the near future. As a 16 year old, his speed was utilized a lot in the defensive zone when he was put out of position. One weakness he showed last year was not being able to move opposing forwards and win the 50:50 pucks along the boards. The 10 lbs he gained in the offseason should help him in his defensive zone play. He showed a lot of grit last year as well, when he took a puck to the mouth and lost several teeth.
-Texeira, despite having fantastic speed and decent size is not currently on the 2015 NHL draft radar, but with top 4, if not top 2 pairing minutes, he should give NHL scouts every opportunity to see his talents. It is not unheard of for prospects to come out of nowhere to be top picks, as Travis Sanheim did last year for the Calgary Hitmen. This is something that is easily attainable for Texeira, especially playing in the up tempo system that the Winterhawks look to play this year. If Anton Cederholm misses extended time this season, Keoni may have to log serious minutes for Portland and how he grows as a player will directly affect how well the team does this year.
Previous Returning Winterhawk Profiles: Layne Viveiros, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Dominic Turgeon, Alex Schoenborn, Nic Petan, Tyson Predinchuk, Keegan Iverson, Adam De Champlain, Chase De Leo, Paul Bittner, Josh Hanson, Ethan Price, Anton Cederholm, Brendan Burke