Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Men's Player Previews: #17 Ryan McDonagh

Vitals:

Position: Defenseman
Year in School: Sophomore
Shoots Left
Height: 6-1
Weight: 212
Hometown: Arden Hills, MN
Previous Team: Cretin-Derham Hall HS in 06/07

NHL Considerations: 1st Round pick (2007) of the Montreal Canadiens.

07/08 Stats: 40 games, 5-7-12, +7, 52 PIM
06/07 Stats: ? games, 14-26-40

08/09 Role: 1st EV Pairing, 1st PK Pairing, should see some PP time

07/08 Recap: Following a Mr. Hockey worthy season in Minnesota, Ryan was promptly drafted by Montreal and then continued through what would be a WCHA All-Rookie team season. Ryan played well right out of the gates, which was a surprise considering he came right from the high school ranks w/ out playing any junior hockey in the USHL. The coaching staff paired each of the freshman w/ a non-freshman, and Ryan pulled the long straw and paired w/ Jamie McBain. By the end of the season, they were hands down the best pairing for Wisconsin. Ryan didn't do anything great, he just did everything well above average. His last second empty net goal against Michigan Tech saved my buddy from having to buy his Tech co-worker lunch, nice work Ryan!

08/09 Thoughts: During the off-season there were rumblings that Ryan might sign w/ Montreal, luckily for us Badger fans he didn't. Don't know if we'll be that lucky next Spring, so enjoy his play in the Cardinal and White while it lasts. Ryan should be paired again w/ McBain this season, giving the Badger argubly the best pairing not only in the WCHA, but in the NCAA's. One thing I really like about Ryan is that he is very solid on the defensive side of the ice, the best among our current blue liners. This should continue this season, along w/ a few ass kicking hits to weary WCHA foes. While I think his offensive numbers could go up a ton, I'm not sure how much PP time he will get w/ McBain, Gardiner, Smith and Goloubef in the mix w/ him. None the less, Ryan's defensive play is a joy to watch, and he should be our top blue liner on the PK.

Prediction: 5-12-17, 2nd team All-WCHA, possible All-American if he tops my prediction

Photo from uwbadgers.com