Prospect Spotlight: Ryan McDonagh

Ryan McDonagh

Ryan McDonagh, Defenseman

6-1, 212 lbs.

Date of Birth: 06-13-1989

Drafted by Montreal in 1st Round of 2007 NHL Draft

Acquired by Rangers (trade) on June, 30, 2009

McDonagh is the type of defensive prospect all GM’s hope to have in their organization’s system. He has an all around game and shows strength at both ends of the ice. The former Minnesota HS star and that state’s “Mr.Hockey”, has spent the last two seasons anchoring the defense of the University of Wisconsin. As a freshman, he lead all defensemen on the squad  in goals and was named to the WCHA All-Rookie team. For his sophomore season, he was named assistant captain and was voted by his teammates as winner of the Fenton Kelsey Jr. award (which is given to the Badger considered most competitive), these were two honors that speak to both his leadership qualities and determination on and off the ice. McDonagh also skated for the USA in international junior competition on 3 separate occasions ( 2007 IIHF World Championships, 2006 Under 18 Junior World Cup and 2005 Under 17 Five Nations Cup).

What the Scouts are saying:

“McDonagh’s key asset is his speed, which has been described  as dimensional. Added to this is his ability to play an all-ice game. He’s responsible in his own end and has the size to be a physical force. He combines that with an ability to contribute on the offensive end of the rink, making the smart pass and keying the rush.”- Trevor Timmins, Director of Player Recruitment and Devlopment, Montreal Canadiens

Ryan McDonagh looks to be the kind of player who will be a first pair defenseman in the NHL. I believe he gives the Rangers not only tons of talent on the blue line but also options with the team heading into dangerous territory with Dan Girardi and Marc Staal approaching free agency over the next couple of seasons. If they should lose either player, McDonagh will be counted on to live up to the lofty expectations thrust upon him and find success at the NHL level as his predecessors have. I think he has all the tools to make the jump (possibly as early as 2010) but in the ideal situation the Rangers will have him in Hartford for a season or two and be able to ease him in as part of what will surely be a young but very talented defensive corps (with the aforementioned Staal and/or Girardi, Mike Del Zotto, Bobby Sanguinetti and Corey Potter) on the big club over the next few years.

Here is video of McDonagh (He assists on the third goal and shows that great speed as he pots one on the breakaway):

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