Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ryan McDonagh is HF's #27 Top Prospect

Hockey's Future has released #'s 26-50 of their Top 50 NHL Prospects. Making the list at #27 is Badger Ryan McDonagh:
27. Ryan McDonagh, D - Montreal Canadiens

McDonagh finished his freshman season with the University of Wisconsin, where he played a significant role on a team that had its share of struggles. A first-round draft pick of the Canadiens in 2007, McDonagh is one of those players who does everything well. His speed and skating ability are tough to match, but he has also got size and strength on his side. He generally makes good decisions on the ice, and is strong in one-on-one play. Because he is in college, the Canadiens will have the option to bring him along slowly if they choose not to offer him the chance to join the professional ranks sooner. Easily the best defensive prospect in Montreal's system, McDonagh has all of the traits of a potential top pairing defenseman in the NHL.

If you remember, in September HF named McDonagh as Montreal's 2nd overall prospect and top defensive prospect:
2. (2) Ryan McDonagh, D, 19
Acquired 1st round, 12th overall, 2007

The Canadiens have placed a premium on blueliners over the past few seasons, and McDonagh represents the cream of the crop. Not only does he possess solid size on the blue line, at 6'1 and well over 200 pounds, but he represents the type of defenseman who's prized throughout the league -- a mobile, puck-moving presence with the ability to both start and finish the rush.

His skating has been described as "dimensional" by the team's player development guru, Trevor Timmins. McDonagh is expected to anchor a strong University of Wisconsin blue line this year. He is also expected to play a key role on Team USA for the upcoming WJC, despite being left off the squad last season.