Saturday, 20 August 2011

Ryan White fills a need in the Canadiens' roster

A while back I did some research on Ben Maxwell and Milan Lucic to see how they were ranked coming into the draft. Doing so I stumbled across a Ryan White writeup, wherein he was described as a high-energy player whose coach trusted him to play center in pressure situations and always seemed to be around the puck. It was an eye-opener for me, but what really surprised me was the fact that he was ranked the #7 prospect in the WHL, higher than both Mr Maxwell (#12) and Mr. Lucic (#14).

The writeup did state that despite winning most battles, Ryan was not an ideal physical specimen, and needed to dedicate himself to his conditioning. So it’s refreshing that apparently he’s one of the kids who gets it, as opposed to Benoit Pouliot, and it shows that there is hope for someone like Ian Schultz, who apparently is not well-conditioned. Mr. White’s success story is also refreshing in light of the torrent of negative comments from posters who castigate Canadiens’ management for poor asset management and development.

This is a clear steal for our club. Here is a player who showed character and produced in junior, but who ‘fell’ in the draft, maybe after a poor showing at the combine. Having to parade shirtless before scouts may not have helped his stock, but we were lucky to scoop him in the third round. Good work by our scouting staff on that one, it kind of reduces the sting of David Fischer and Ben Maxwell being drafted in the first and second rounds.

One thing which worries me is that a lot of posters here in the HIO community, who may reflect the average Montreal fan to some degree, seem to stress the importance of Ryan’s pugilistic prowess above all else. In light of his performance in Calgary and Hamilton, I think we should consider him to be more of a Mario Tremblay type of player, one who will hit and go into the corners and show character and passion and pot a timely goal, instead of reducing the expectations to him being a cruiserweight.

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