UTAH PUCK REPORT

Utah Hockey Club’s Clayton Keller Talks Leadership, Shares Favorite Team Nicknames

Jun 14, 2024, 12:08 PM | Updated: 12:12 pm

SALT LAKE CITYUtah Hockey Club forward Clayton Keller joined the Utah Puck Report Podcast to discuss NHL stardom and overcoming injuries in his career.

Clayton Keller on leadership, Utah, and team nicknames

Keller recently joined Jay Stevens on the KSL Sports’ Utah Puck Report. The veteran right wing talked about his leadership, relocating to Utah, favorite team nicknames, and more.

Clayton Keller as a player and leader

Keller described his growth as a player and leader. He credited overcoming a major injury for seeing the game differently as an experienced player.

“I’m a highly competitive guy, always striving to get better, and as I’ve gotten older and played longer in the league I’ve turned into more of a leader and I think I’ve done a great job with that,” Keller said. “Throughout the years, I had some setbacks, a pretty big injury that I was able to rebound from, and that kind of opened up my eyes to a whole other part of the game.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Clayton Keller (@claytonkeller19)

Keller also shared that Utah will be a fun and exciting team for fans to watch.

“I think we’re gonna be a very fast team, skilled team, and a team that you definitely want to watch, not a team that’s gonna put you to sleep,” Keller said.

Relocation to Utah

Like many of Keller’s teammates who’d already joined the podcast, the forward said the team began hearing rumors of moving out of Arizona during the middle of the 2023-24 season. Keller said it wasn’t until late in the season when the reports came out about Utah that the things began to be real. He said that the team was excited to have “a plan” for their future and looked forward to moving to Utah.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Clayton Keller (@claytonkeller19)

In April, the team visited the state after the announcement of relocation was made by the NHL. A welcome party was held at the Delta Center. However, it wasn’t Keller’s first time in the Beehive State. The right wing had attended a UFC fight in Salt Lake City with some teammates and his younger brother a year earlier.

“It was unbelievable. We didn’t really know what to expect,” Keller said of the trip to Utah in April. “Landing at the airport and seeing so many people was pretty special and then obviously at the rink later, same thing. You know, Ryan [Smith] was telling us how many people were gonna be there…that whole welcome was unbelievable. It’s definitely motivating for us.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

Permanent team nickname

On June 13, Smith Entertainment Group announced that the franchise would own the temporary name of “Utah Hockey Club” during its inaugural season. The process to decide a permanent nickname is ongoing and a fan vote is currently in the middle of a second round. An additional round of voting will take place in the future.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

Utah Venom, Utah Blizzard, Utah Mammoth, Utah Yeti, Utah Hockey Club, and Utah Outlaws are the finalists to be the permanent nickname.

Keller said that he likes Yeti and Mammoth the most.

Nicknames aside, the NHL star is ready to play in front of a Delta Center crowd.

“We all couldn’t be more excited to be coming to Utah,” Keller said.

To hear Keller’s entire conversation on the Utah Puck Report podcast, check out the audio and video players above.

Kyle Ireland is a Utah Hockey Club Insider for KSLSports.com. Follow him on X (@kyleireland), Threads (@kyleirelandksl), and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

Utah Puck Report

Dylan-Guenther-Arizona-Coyotes-NHL...

Kyle Ireland

Tucson Roadrunners Voice Adrian Denny Details Utah Hockey Club’s Prospects

Adrian Denny hopped on the Utah Puck Report podcast to break down Utah Hockey Club's recent draft picks and its top prospects.

8 days ago

John-Marino-New-Jersey-Devils...

Kyle Ireland

Puck Report: Defenseman John Marino Breaks Down Trade To Utah Hockey Club

Utah Hockey Club defenseman John Marino broke down what it was like to get traded in June and gave his thoughts on the newest NHL team.

8 days ago

barrett hayton...

Brian Preece

Utah Hockey Club Reaches Agreement With Forward Barrett Hayton On Two-Year Deal

Utah Hockey Club has added another player to its lengthy list of acquisitions this off-season after agreeing to terms with former Arizona Coyotes forward Barrett Hayton. 

12 days ago

Trevor-Lewis-LA-Kings-NHL...

Jay Stevens, KSL Sports

Utah Native, NHL Veteran Trevor Lewis Re-Signs With LA Kings

The LA Kings have signed forward Trevor Lewis to a one-year deal. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

18 days ago

Chris-Armstrong-Ashley-Smith-Bill-Armstrong-NHL-Draft...

Jay Stevens, KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Club Surprises By Drafting Forward Tij Iginla

Utah GM Bill Armstrong juked us all with the team's first-ever draft selection, forward Tij Iginla from Kelowna.

21 days ago

Bill-Armstrong-Arizona-Coyotes-NHL...

Kyle Ireland

Utah GM Bill Armstrong Says Rebuilding Franchise ‘Takes Some Patience’

Bill Armstrong joined the Utah Puck Report podcast to discuss his background in the sport, the NHL Draft, and Utah HC's rebuild process.

22 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Utah Hockey Club’s Clayton Keller Talks Leadership, Shares Favorite Team Nicknames