Thursday, September 17, 2009

09/10 Men's Previews: #17 Ryan McDonagh


Vitals:

Position: Defenseman
Year in School: Junior
Shoots Left
Height: 6-1
Weight: 216
Hometown: Arden Hills, MN
Major: making $$$ in the NHL after the season
Previous Team: Cretin-Derham Hall (MN HS) in 06/07

NHL Considerations: 1st round pick of Montreal (12th overall) in the 2007 draft, but had his rights traded to the NY Ranger during the off season.

08/09 Stats: 36 games, 5-11-16, -2, 59 PIM
07/08 Stats: 40 games, 5-7-12, +7, 42 PIM

09/10 Role: 1st Pairing, PP & PK

08/09 Recap: Not long after the season started, Ryan found himself as an alternate captain. Eaves broke up the wildly successful pairing of McD/McB early in the season only to find Ryan as successfully paired w/ Cody Goloubef. While the McBain/Smith or McBain/Gardiner pairing was #1, the McDonagh/Goloubef pairing was the most consistent and the guys to bring out when a defensive presence was required. Ryan found himself on Team USA for the WJC, and though they didn’t medal he played well. Overall, he had another stellar season and established himself as a leader.

Biggest Strength: Ryan is great in all areas, but the thing I like about him the most is his physical presence on the ice. The other top defensemen have similar skill sets and are talented, but none of them lay down the big hit like McD.

Biggest Weakness: Is there really any weaknesses in Ryan’s game?

09/10 Thoughts: If you aren’t excited about Ryan McDonagh yet (first what the hell is your problem!) you will be by the end of the first period on Friday October 16th. His return to the Cardinal and White was never guaranteed this off season, but his return spells great things for the Badgers this season. He is clearly the leader on the blue line and should wear his tri-captain “C” w/ pride this season. What makes Ryan great doesn’t always show up in the boxscore, but you’ll know when he’s out there this season. W/ McBain gone to the pros, Ryan should see an expanded role in the offensive, which will be fun to see. I heard he showed up at the first captain’s practice ripped and ready to kick the WCHA’s ass, only 4 weeks til the domination begins.

Prediction: 35 games, 5-20-25*
*All predictions for regular season only

Photo from uwbadgers.com