Ronnings rule at the Coliseum
New addition 14-year-old Ty is a ‘chip off old block’ of beloved Canucks’ alum, Cliff
The Vancouver Giants’ marketing minds will like his family ties, since his father used to star at the Pacific Coliseum for the Vancouver Canucks.
The coaching staff, by all accounts, will appreciate his work ethic. And, if Thursday was any indication, the team’s fans will go for Ty Ronning’s spirit.
When told that his bantam coach, Burnaby Winter Club’s John Batchelor, wondered if Ronning being taller and heavier would take away some of his trademark verve and determination, the diminutive 14-year-old winger didn’t miss a beat on the retort.
“John says a lot of great things about me. I don’t know if some of them are true,” said the 15th overall selection in Thursday’s WHL bantam draft, who is the son of former Canuck pivot Cliff Ronning. “But I’ll take them.” The Giants haven’t been shy about wanting players and events they could market. It’s part of what’s made them successful in an often fickle Vancouver sports scene.
And while Cliff Ronning remains one of the most beloved Canucks for his time with the team from 1990-96, taking his son where they did is far from a reach.
The Pipeline Show, a junior hockey radio program, had Ronning ranked 10th overall for instance, and Batchelor said that he had heard that Ronning was “quite possibly a top-10 pick.”
The 5-foot-6, 135 pounder put up 77 goals, 153 points and a plus-109 in 72 games last season with Burnaby Winter Club, the Western Canadian champions.
Vancouver centre Anthony Ast, a fellow BWC product, vouched for him.
“He comes from a family where hockey is in the blood,” said Ast, who welcomed Ronning to the club via text Thursday. “He’s one of the hardest workers on and off the ice, every game, every practice.”
He was born two years after his dad’s final game as a Canuck, and one year after he played under Don Hay with the Phoenix Coyotes. Hay, of course, is the Giants coach.
“My dad says he’s a great coach,” said Ronning. “I’d love to be coached by him.”
He’s in Grade 9 at Notre Dame, which is just up the street from the Pacific Coliseum, so he knows the area well.
He’s been to Giants games and he’s heard stories about the rink from his father. And, yes, he’d love to wear No. 7, just like his dad did when he was stationed there.
“I’d definitely want that,” he said, admitting, though, that he might have to wait for it if a veteran already has it.
Ronning, like the rest of this draft class, will only be eligible to play five games next season until their midget teams are eliminated from the playoffs. They can all become regulars at 16 years of age in the 2013-14 season.
Ronning was one of eight Lower Mainland players picked in the opening round. His BWC teammate Matt Barzal, a centre, went first overall to the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Another BWC pivot, Adam Musil, was picked sixth overall by the Red Deer Rebels. There had been scuttlebutt before the draft that the son of former NHL Frank Musil and brother of Giants defenceman David Musil would only report to Vancouver, the Calgary Hitmen or Edmonton Oil Kings, but word yesterday was that he would go to Red Deer.
Check www.whl.ca for full draft results.