Brady Keeper, the first hockey player from Pimicikamak Cree Nation to reach the NHL, received a warm welcome upon returning home for the summer.

Keeper arrived in the community on Wednesday morning, where he was greeted with a parade, a ceremony and several gifts, before he spent time signing autographs for the children in the community.

“It’s surreal having all these people here,” Keeper told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s crazy. I love coming back home and like I said, it’s unbelievable.”

Pimicikamak Cree Nation is approximately 770 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

Keeper, who played most of the season with the University of Maine of the NCAA, signed a two-year contract worth US$2.7 million with the Florida Panthers on March 18.

As a late season addition, Keeper played one game with the Panthers, where he flew in several friends and family to take in the matchup.