I love the small town newspapers that are still around. Very nice article from one in Michigan about Maple Leaf prospect Kenny Ryan who has chosen the college route after being drafted by the Maple Leafs.
“The 18-year-old Franklin Village resident recently was selected 50th overall by the Toronto Maples Leafs in the National Hockey League’s 2009 entry draft. The Leafs like his speed, grittiness and skating ability so well he was the team’s second-round selection.
Ryan is excitedly anticipating the day he can suit up in the famed Maple Leaf-blue jersey and skate for one of the league’s storied Original Six franchises.
However, before that happens, he will patiently continue his education and hone his game at Boston College. The Eagles captured the 2008 NCAA championship and consistently field one of the nation’s top college ice hockey programs.
Ryan says going to college is a natural step in his progress towards an NHL career.
“I visited a bunch of schools, and I just felt Boston College was the right fit for me,” says Ryan. “I love the coaches there and the tradition of a winning program.
“Getting an education is so important because it always gives you something to fall back onto,” says Ryan. “And in my family, everyone went to college and you only get the college experience once, and whether it’s for a year or four years, it’s something you’ll always have.”
STARTING WITH RANGERS
Ryan’s hockey career began as a youngster, working through the various levels of the Birmingham Rangers program at the Birmingham Ice Arena. As he got older, he entered the Honeybaked travel program where he played out of both the Oak Park Compuware Arena and the Viking Arena in Hazel Park.”
Good for him. I am biased as I used to coach in the Birmingham program when I lived in Michigan, however I think it’s great when a kid with obvious skills does the right thing and goes the college route. There are no sure things and getting a degree (most likely for free) at a school like Boston College is worth it’s weight in gold. I know you don’t get a chance to make the type of money he could get by signing now, but I think it shows the brains inside his head and that’s great.
“t was Ryan’s play with the USNTDP that earned him recognition as one of the nation’s elite hockey players. He was ranked the 56th best prospect, according to NHL Central Scouting for North American players, and was the only Michigan player his age invited to the NHL combine prior to the draft.
Ryan attended the NHL draft in Montreal with his family, including his mom Heather, dad K.C., and older brothers Ross and Charlie. He was selected in the second round on the second day, and while it was a long wait, it was a relief to hear the Toronto Maple Leafs wanted his services.
“I couldn’t be happier with the situation. Toronto is such a good organization,” says Ryan, the first Michigan player to be drafted. “They are kind of in a rebuilding stage a little bit with Brian Burke as the GM. You can just tell with the couple of trades and the moves they’ve made they’re looking to get back into contending shape, and it looks like they are.”
Even though he’ll be playing hockey this fall at the Chestnut Hill-based college just outside Boston, Ryan said the Leafs own his rights for the next four years. At any time during that period he could elect to forego his college career and skate into the Toronto organization.
“It’s in my hands somewhat on how I play, but at the same time when they feel I’m ready and when I feel I’m ready, the time will be right and it will be time to leave,” he says.”
Nice story, good luck Kenny, hope the Catamounts go easy on you when you play UVM 🙂 article is here
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