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.

Toronto Maple Leafs sign Nikita Zaitsev, but what impact should be expected?

Ryan Kennedy
Nikita Zaitsev (Photo by Karina Hessland/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs continued to pick up bodies for their rebuild today, signing KHL defenseman Nikita Zaitsev to a one-year deal. This move has been long-rumored, but now that it’s official, the question becomes one of expectation.

Sure, Zaitsev was a top blueliner in the KHL, but does that mean anything for his NHL potential?

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Patrik Laine gives Winnipeg the best problem in all of hockey

Ryan Kennedy
Patrik Laine (Photo by RONI REKOMAA/AFP/Getty Images)

Must be horrible to be Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff right now. After all, his team moved up to second from sixth in the draft order thanks to this weekend’s lottery, enabling the team to pick Patrik Laine or Jesse Puljujarvi this summer. But the Jets already have one of the deepest pools of young talent in the NHL, with Nikolaj Ehlers already a year in and Kyle Connor recently turning pro after one incredible college season.

Oh, the terrible choices Winnipeg will be forced to make in camp this fall.

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Future Watch: Dylan Strome is primed to become the No. 1 center Arizona desperately needs

Ryan Kennedy
Dylan Strome. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

The Strome family has a tradition. Three sons have been drafted into the OHL over the years, and a couple nights before each one has left home, the family has thrown a big party featuring all their relatives. The son who was leaving would give a speech, and things would get misty. OK, fine. There were full-on waterworks. Ryan is the eldest and currently a member of the New York Islanders. Matthew is the youngest and just gave his speech last summer before departing the family home in Mississauga for Hamilton. And in the middle is Dylan, an Arizona Coyotes draft pick who has been tearing up the OHL as a member of the high-flying Erie Otters for nearly three seasons. “We thank everyone for the help and generosity they’ve given us,” Dylan said.

“They’ve followed us for so many years of our lives, and they know we’re going off to do what we love to do. For them to help us out so much, you get emotional when you talk about it. I was crying, Matt was crying, Ryan cried. I cried when Ryan said it, I cried when Matt said it. My parents were both crying. It’s OK to show emotion in our family.”

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Frolunda player wins SHL championship; gets thrown out of soccer game

Ryan Kennedy
Mats Rosseli Olsen (in red) of Frolunda  (Photo by Johan Spanås/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images)

OK, try to follow along with us on this one:

A soccer match in Gothenburg, Sweden was interrupted the other day when a fan-thrown firecracker temporarily deafened a rival Malmo player and a nearby referee. Enraged, the Malmo player tore the corner flag out of the ground and hurled it at the crowd. Play was suspended as the officials debated whether or not the game should go on and as they did, a fan from the stands jumped onto the field.

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Sorry haters, but hockey in Arizona is continuing to grow

Ryan Kennedy
Arizona's Anthony Duclair and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

Stories about Arizona’s arena saga are rarely fun to read. The latest development in Glendale has AEG Facilities taking over as managers of Gila River Arena. The company is an offshoot of the firm that owns the Los Angeles Kings and has vast experience in arena management. As always, hope is high in some corners and not so high in others. But guess what? This is a minor development in a state on the rise in the hockey world.

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Prospect Need to Know: Quebec’s future finest is Maxime Comtois

Maxime Comtois  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Finland is golden again thanks to the under-18s in North Dakota and all the international usual suspects came through at the tourney. Jesse Puljujarvi was huge, Clayton Keller took home MVP honors and Tyson Jost led the tourney in scoring. European scouts are basically done watching games now and the CHL playoffs are getting to the big stages, so you can feel the draft combine coming on the horizon. With the AHL starting Calder Cup proceedings, there is still a lot of good hockey left, though. So let’s take a trip around the prospect world again, shall we?

 

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