Sheldon Keefe was born September 17, 1980 in Brampton, Ontario. The second round, 47th overall selection of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Keefe is a graduate of the OHL.
A feistey winger with offensive skills, Keefe played two seasons in the OHL with stints in Toronto and Barrie scoring 237 points (99-138-237) in 132 games while leading Barrie to the 2000 Memorial Cup final. Unfortunately, the Colts came up short in the final against the Rimouski Oceanic, however, Keefe would be named to the Memorial Cup All-Tournament Team.
The Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy winner in 1999-00, Keefe made his professional debut with the Lightning organization in 2000-01, splitting his time with Tampa Bay and their IHL affiliate in Detroit. Over the course of the next three seasons, Keefe continued to split his time with Tampa Bay and the AHL before bieng acquired by the Phoenix Coyotes in the summer of 2004.