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.

Steven Stamkos’ race to 250 goals even more impressive than it sounds

Ryan Kennedy
Steven Stamkos (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Early in the second period last night, Tampa Bay Lightning superstar Steven Stamkos wheeled around and fired a wrist shot from just above the hashmarks, beating Washington goalie Braden Holtby through a crowd of Caps. It marked Stamkos’ 250th career goal and at the age of 24 years and 305 days, ‘Stammer’ became the 10th-youngest player in NHL history to achieve the mark. The list of players ahead of him is impressive:

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Behemoth 2015 prospect Jordan Greenway leads off The Hot List

Jordan Greenway (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

World junior camps are approaching and some teams are getting excellent news already. Most recently, Canada found out that New York Rangers rookie Anthony Duclair will be loaned out, giving the host nation another speedy and dangerous offensive weapon in its arsenal. Finland must be happy that Dallas gave its blessing for Julius Honka to return, while Washington’s Andre Burakovsky is still a wait-and-see for Sweden. In the meantime, here are some of the other top prospects making noise in the hockey world.

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Chicago’s Brandon Saad grows, while keeping Syria in mind

Ryan Kennedy
Brandon Saad (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Chicago Blackhawks have been built so well that it’s sometimes tough for young kids to crack the roster. But one player who has made a big impression over the past few years is left winger Brandon Saad, who already has a Stanley Cup to his name and at 22, still has room to grow into a dominant player in the NHL.

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Finland, Sweden, Russia, Switzerland and the Czechs release WJC camp rosters

Ryan Kennedy
Pittsburgh's Kasperi Kapanen (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

We are mere weeks away from the World Junior Championship, where Toronto and Montreal will play host to some of the best teenaged players on the planet. Canada and the U.S. announced their final camp rosters last week and now it’s Europe’s turn to shine. Camp rosters are trickling out and there are some big names – and big snubs to consider. Here’s the latest:

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Calgary Hitmen fans threw more than 25,000 teddy bears on the ice Sunday

Ryan Kennedy
Calgary's Radel Fazleev (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

It’s an annual tradition that brings out the best in hockey fans and they’re particularly good at it in Calgary. The Western League’s Hitmen held their 20th teddy bear toss on Sunday and the result was 25,214 stuffed animals being launched onto the ice, all of which were to be donated to charity. Philadelphia Flyers prospect Radel Fazleev scored 98 seconds into the game to begin the barrage; here’s the aftermath:

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NHL’s best 1-on-1 goalie is calm, cool and, most importantly, Quick

Ryan Kennedy
Jonathan Quick

If you knew absolutely nothing about hockey and just looked at statistics, Jonathan Quick may not leap out at you right away.

Last season, his 2.07 goals-against average ranked fifth in the league, but in wins and save percentage he finished outside the top 10 and top 20, respectively. Ask NHL shooters, however, who they would least like to see in the crease when they’re barrelling down 1-on-1, and Quick is the name they fear most.

“You make a move and he’s just super-fast,” said Anaheim’s Devante Smith-Pelly. “Like he’s already there, almost.” Read more

Who has the NHL’s best slapshot? Do we even need to ask?

Ryan Kennedy
Shea Weber

Without a doubt, Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber has the most feared slapshot in the NHL. Not only is it the go-to answer when you ask the question, but his blast actually has its own rap sheet.

Most famously, there was the goal he scored against Germany at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the one that actually broke through the netting and went out the other side, prompting a replay to confirm its trajectory. And this summer, Weber was skating with a half-dozen teammates in Nashville when he put a shot through the boards. Fellow Preds blueliner Seth Jones took a picture for posterity, which was fun for fans online, not so much for those in the goaltending profession.

“You know how I’m going to feel about that,” said Nashville netminder Carter Hutton. Read more

For powerful QMJHL squad, it’s simply rebuild, reload and repeat

Ryan Kennedy
Val D'Or Featured

The Val-d’Or Foreurs had only been in the Quebec League two years when a young goaltender named Roberto Luongo moved up from Montreal for the 1995-96 season. By his third year in the small mining town, Luongo hoisted a championship trophy.

“We won in four straight against Rimouski, and the fourth game was at home,” Luongo said. “It was just craziness. It was unreal. The city was going nuts. You can’t top that as the best moment there.” Read more