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The son of NHL Hall of Fame defenceman Al MacInnis, Ryan MacInnis hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps, but is also blazing his own trail at a whole different position. The younger MacInnis is not a defenceman, but rather plays centre.
He’s also gone his own way in the international game. Born in St. Louis while his father was playing for the Blues, MacInnis has decided to play his international hockey with USA Hockey instead of Hockey Canada as his dual citizenship left him eligible to play for both countries. While his father represented Canada in multiple international competitions, Ryan MacInnis played for the US National Team Development Program U17 squad in 2012-13 and won a Bronze medal at the U17 World Hockey Challenge.
Rather than continuing on with the US NTDP this year, MacInnis instead opted to join the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers. The season was a rough one as Kitchener was a rebuilding club. MacInnis spent the first half of the year as the team’s third line centre, and then moved up to the second line following the trade of Radek Faksa to the Sudbury Wolves. Overall MacInnis finished with 16 goals and 37 points in 66 games for the Rangers in what was a decent first year in the OHL.
Forward — shoots Left
Born Feb 14 1996 — St. Louis, MO
Height 6.04 — Weight 185 [193 cm/84 kg]
Ryan MacInnis has great size and the potential of him developing into a power forward should be tantalizing for many scouts. He has a very strong wrist shot with good accuracy and a decent release that can fool goaltenders. MacInnis also has very good hockey sense and vision and outstanding passing skills. Despite that great size MacInnis isn’t really physical at this point. While he doesn’t initiate contact his size and balance help him to battle his way to the front of the net and fight through checks, protecting the puck. They also allow him to win battles in the corners. It is hoped that MacInnis may become more physical as he adds mass to his lanky frame. MacInnis does have very good hockey sense, and positioning. He finds the open areas of the ice and is able to find openings and opportunities for himself.
Skating is an issue for MacInnis. His stride could use some work, it is a bit sloppy especially in his first few steps, this takes away from his quickness and acceleration. Work with a good skating coach to improve his footwork could definitely help him. He does have good balance and power though, which allows MacInnis to fight through checks and get to the front of the net with the puck. His agility isn’t bad for a player listed at 6’4, but he can be a bit awkward at times.
Defensively, MacInnis is a bit hit or miss. His long stick, and great size make him very effective as a penalty killer. He cuts down shooting lanes well and is able to also intercept or deflect passes helping his team leave the zone. However at Even Strength when he is asked to support more down lown, his skating and mobility can betray him allowing opponents to slip away.
MacInnis’ style is similar to former NHLer Radek Bonk, best known for his time with the Ottawa Senators. He could develop into a two-way centre with some power forward capabilities. He could slide into a teams top 6 if all goes well, but this is a long-term project, and MacInnis will need plenty of time at the junior and AHL levels going forward.
Below are some highlights of Ryan MacInnis in action.
Come back tomorrow to check out my #44 prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft.
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