Giants draft Cliff Ronning's son
Smallish winger has time to grow since he won't be in the lineup until 2013-14
By Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun
May 4, 2012 3:09 AM
Cliff Ronning has moved from the realm of hockey star to hockey dad and he was over the moon Thursday when the Vancouver Giants selected his son Ty in the first round of the Western Hockey League's bantam draft.
Ty Ronning, 14, is a smallish right winger who can score. He netted 77 goals this past season for the Burnaby Winter Club bantams, who won both the B.C. and Western Canadian championships. He's listed at 5-6 and 140 pounds but has lots of time to grow. He's been compared favourably to out going Giants captain Brendan Gallagher and Edmonton Oiler stalwart Jordan Eberle.
"It's a very good day," said Cliff, now 46. "I was definitely hoping that Ty would get an opportunity to play close to home so that's pretty exciting. Now he'll get to play in the Pacific Coliseum, a place where I had some good memories."
Cliff Ronning had a storied career in junior with the New Westminster Bruins how about 197 points in 1984-85? - and then appeared in more than 1,200 NHL games, including playoffs. His best moments, of course, occurred during the 1994 Stanley Cup Final when he helped the Canucks, in their Coliseum home, make it to Game 7 before losing to the New York Rangers.
"I'm glad to be picked by the Giants," said Ty. "It's just spectacular. When it came to their pick and I was still available, I was nervous, I was everything. It was just crazy."
According to WHL rules, all drafted players must spend the following season in a midget program and can only appear in five WHL games on a call-up basis. So the Giants won't see Ty Ronning in their lineup until 2013-14 at the earliest, assuming he is ready. He turns 15 on Oct. 20. "I think he'll be ready if he keeps progressing the way he did from the beginning of the year to the end of the year," said Giants' bantam draft guru Jason Ripplinger, whose official title is director of player personnel. "He has lots of speed and I think he can become a first-line player for us. His compete level is something we liked. His feet are always moving, he has good skill and can shoot the puck from anywhere."
Cliff Ronning knows something about Giants' head coach Don Hay, too. He played for Hay when both were with the Phoenix Coyotes during the 1996-97 NHL season.
"I know how hard you have to work to play for Don Hay," Cliff noted. "I definitely learned how to backcheck. That's the first thing you're going to learn under Don ... you have to backcheck, which Ty does. The Giants are a great organization from the owner all the way down and their interest is to develop the player and also to develop the person. That's what I've been told."
It was not only an excellent day for the Giants and the Ronning family but also for Lower Mainland hockey. The first overall pick was Mathew Barzal of BWC, who went to the Seattle Thunderbirds, while the second pick was North Shore Winter Club product Jansen Harkins, a selection of the Prince George Cougars. (His dad is Todd Harkins, who had a brief 48-game NHL career.)
Glenn Gawdin of Seafair in Richmond went fifth overall to the Swift Current Broncos, followed by Adam Musil (BWC), sixth to the Red Deer Rebels. Cloverdale's Tyler Soy was selected eighth by the Victoria Royals.
Throw in Ronning at No. 15, BWC teammate Ty Schultz at No. 16 and Cloverdale's Parker Wotherspoon at No. 21 and that made it eight Lower Mainland players taken in the first round. That matches the class of 2009, which also had eight and was led by the West Vancouver duo of Morgan Rielly and Griffin Rein-hart. According to Ripplinger, the rise of the Lower Mainland player can be attributed to the many specialized hockey academies, programs and clinics available to youngsters to help them develop.
"For whatever reason, I think there are more opportunities in B.C.," Ripplinger said. "There are more things going on and B.C. kids are starting to pass the other provinces."
Barzal's selection as No. 1 was the fifth time in 10 years a player from the Lower Mainland has been drafted first overall. Burnaby's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2008), North Vancouver's Gilbert Brule (2002), White Rock's Colten Teubert (2005) and Ryan Kerr of Lions Bay (2004) were the others.
G-NOTES: The Vancouver Giants and Team Radio announced a new broadcast deal for the next two seasons. Games will be heard on 1040 or brother station 1410 depending on the Canucks' schedule ... The Giants' 10th-round pick, Owen Sillinger, is the son of former NHLer Mike ... Dave Babych's son Cal, a right winger from the North Shore Winter Club, went in the fourth round (84th over-all) to the Calgary Hitmen.
WHO THE GIANTS PICKED
ROUND 1: Ty Ronning, RW, Burnaby Winter Club (15th overall).
ROUND 2: Jakob Stukel, LW, Cloverdale, (37th overall); Jesse Roach, RW, Quesnel (42nd overall).
ROUND 3: No pick.
ROUND 4: Stefan Wornig, G, White Rock (85th overall).
ROUND 5: Michael Eskra, D, Regina (110th overall).
ROUND 6: Kole Bryks, D, Edmonton (117th overall); Jared Coghill, D, Lloydminster (132nd overall).
ROUND 7: Chase Jungels, F, Edina, Minn. (133rd overall); Colten Iron, RW, Canoe Narrows, Sask. (147th overall).
ROUND 8: Jordan Klehr, D, Lino Lakes, Minn. (169th overall).
ROUND 9: Mitch Stapley, D, North Shore Winter Club (191st overall).
ROUND 10: Owen Sillinger, C, Regina (199th overall).
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