Ryan Kennedy

Ryan Kennedy is the associate senior writer and draft/prospect expert at The Hockey News. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all called his house. He lives in Toronto with his wife and kids where he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.

Michigan Wolverines will go as far as youth takes them

Ryan Kennedy
Michigan's J.T. Compher  (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)

Yost Arena in Ann Arbor can be a fun place to play. With nine minutes to go before the game starts, the fans at the University of Michigan rink begin to sing the Canadian national anthem, even though only three Canucks are in the lineup that night. They even have a Maize and Blue-colored Canadian flag. The locals had a Texas flag when Chris Brown (now with Washington) skated there and New York Rangers speedster Carl Hagelin got a Swedish flag. Hagelin, who captained the Wolverines in his junior year, made such an impact that the team all signed that flag for him and the pep band learned Sweden’s anthem for his final game.

But with success comes attrition and after making the NCAA tournament for more than two decades without missing, the Wolverines have been left at home the past two seasons. If they hope to return to the promised land, they’re going to do it with youth.

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Centered around Sedins, Canucks resurgence coming thanks to savvy off-season moves

Ryan Kennedy
Sedins (Getty Images)

If Ornskoldsvik wasn’t real, some hacky hockey scribe would have invented it anyway. The tiny Swedish town is a picturesque burgh of fewer than 30,000 people, situated on the water and home to some of the greatest hockey players the nation has ever produced, from Peter Forsberg to Markus Naslund. It’s also where two of the best current players in the NHL hail from in Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Every summer they go back to their hometown and decompress near the sea, where the boating is excellent and fellow NHLers such as Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman live nearby. But the first two weeks of this off-season’s vacation time were awful, as the clouds that followed the Sedins around during 2013-14 seemed to jump across from North America. Only in July did the skies clear in Ornskoldsvik. Now the twins are hoping their future in hockey will once again be beautiful as well. Read more

Third round of WHL Best Name contest is set

Ryan Kennedy
Red Deer's Kayle Doetzel (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

It’s really getting down to it now. Our Elite Eight has been set thanks to the votes you cast on Twitter as the WHL Best Name tourney gets serious. The Victoria Royals, who have been strong all tournament long, are guaranteed a semifinalist, but will another challenger be able to take the overall crown? Watch the THN Twitter feed for your chance to vote your faves into our Final Four. Here are the pairings:

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Buffalo’s Tyler Myers still has a ton of potential and that’s why teams are interested

Ryan Kennedy
Buffalo's Tyler Myers (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

That the Buffalo Sabres are struggling this season is no surprise. Are they a bit worse than anticipated? For now, yes. But it’s not like the team is devoid of talent. We know the organization has a lot of potential wrapped up in its youth and even though he’s a little older, towering defenseman Tyler Myers still has a lot of upside.

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Why did Montreal grab Sergei Gonchar from Dallas for Travis Moen?

Ryan Kennedy
Sergei Gonchar heads to the Habs (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

There are some hockey trades that just make sense at the time and others that require a little more thinking. When news hit that Montreal had acquired veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar from Dallas in exchange for sandpaper bottom-sixer Travis Moen, the initial motivations were cloudy.

After all, the Canadiens aren’t exactly a physically intimidating team and the Stars didn’t seem to be in a position to lose an experienced blueliner, but here we are. So what’s the context of this deal?

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NHL draft prospect Nick Merkley is making a statement on The Hot List

Nick Merkley (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

The CHL-Russia Super Series kicked off in Saskatoon Monday night and the visitors continued their hot streak by winning 3-2 in a shootout over the Western League’s squad. The six-game showdown usually starts in Quebec and goes West, but things are flipped this time and will be interesting to see if that affects the results at all. In other news, top 2015 Swedish prospect Oliver Kylington was loaned out to AIK in the country’s second-tier league, the Allsvenskan, where he will get more playing time. Here’s a look at some of the other youngsters we’re keeping an eye on.

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