Getting to Know Ty Ronning

Vancouver Sun

The trade deadline has come and gone and the New York Rangers are a very different team. They are a team building towards a bright future with new young players, new prospects and a slew of picks in the next few years. One of those young players that are now truly in the fold is 20-year-old Ty Ronning. With the recent signing of his entry-level deal, Ronning will most likely join the Hartford Wolf Pack when his season ends with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League (WHL).

Ronning, son of former NHLer Cliff Ronning, was drafted in the seventh round of the 2016 NHL entry draft. He was picked 201st overall, or just ten picks away from the last pick in the draft. At that point in the draft, it sort of becomes a shot in the dark for NHL teams. They go for players they think could possibly contribute somewhere down the line and players picked that low typically aren’t career NHL’ers. Well, let’s hope Ronning bucks that trend just like Henrik Lundqvist did when he was drafted 205th overall in 2000.

When we dive into Ronning’s stats, we see a player who has progressively gotten better year after year and that’s exactly what NHL teams want out of their prospects; growth. If we disregard the 2014-15 season, where Ronning only played 24 games and had two points, his other seasons have shown nothing but growth. In 2013-14, Ronning began his WHL career with the Vancouver Giants and had nine goals and 11 assists for 20 points in 56 games. Skipping his 14-15 season and jumping to 15-16, Ronning had 31 goals and 28 assists for 59 points in 67 games. In the 2016-17 season, Ronning put up another 25 goals and 28 assists for 53 points in 68 games. Now, this season, he has really taken off and shown that maybe he could be something more than just a “run of the mill seventh-round pick” once he gets called up.

Despite a cameo with the Wolf Pack at the end of last season, he wasn’t given a spot on the team this year. He was returned to the WHL and man has he made the most of his opportunity. At the time of publishing, Ronning currently has 56 goals, tied for second in the entire WHL, and 22 assists for 78 points in 65 games. That’s a major boost.

It needs to be said that Ronning is in his overage season now, so that does play a bit of a factor in his dominant season. A 50 goal scorer in the WHL doesn’t mean that the Rangers have found the next Patrik Laine or Alex Ovechkin, but it does mean that Ronning has a chance to be a solid middle-six forward for the Rangers somewhere down the line, and he will be given every chance to prove himself during the course of this rebuild.

As for his style of play, Ronning is a very hard-nosed player who loves to get involved around the net and score. He isn’t the biggest kid of course (Ronning stands at 5’9” and weighs 165 pounds) but he’s got a lot of heart and isn’t afraid to play his game.

The Giants congratulated Ronning upon him signing his entry-level deal:

Ronning also posted a very excited message on his personal twitter upon signing his deal:

It’s safe to say we will see Ronning at training camp next season and he will be given every chance to be part of this Rangers team going forward. If he needs time with the Wolf Pack to get “seasoned”, that’s not a bad thing at all. Time will tell how effective an NHLer Ronning can be, but with yet another kid with promise in the system, the Rangers future looks bright. Here are some highlights of Ronning in the WHL.

Editor’s Note: The following is a Forever Blueshirts exclusive courtesy of a close friend of Ty’s, who started to get into hockey because of Ty and his family.

How can you thank someone who single-handedly ignited your passion for hockey? That is the one takeaway I have after hearing that Ty Ronning was signed to an ELC. I went to high school with Ty for four years, and I generally did not get to see him too often since he had just begun his WHL career with the Giants. I got to know him better as some of his injuries kept him off the ice, I distinctly recall that he liked to show off his stitches. At that point in time, I only really watched hockey during the Olympics and I really only cared for goaltenders, Henrik Lundqvist and Carey Price to be specific. Looking back, I recall how much conviction he had even back then, saying his habitual phrase “hard work pays off”.

Lucas Kam

By January of 2016, the Ronning hype was really building up; he had scored a hattrick, scored the Giants’ teddy bear toss goal, and had been named to play at the CHL’s Top Prospects game for Team Cherry. At the same time, the Giants were at the bottom of the WHL’s Western Conference. I got back in touch with Ty, and he was more than happy to offer me a ticket to watch the team play, and I saw the Vancouver Giants play for the very first time on February 5, 2015. The game ended in a loss, but that never stopped me from watching, for that 2015-16 season was all about cheering on my friend, no matter what. Ty was as good to me as I was for him, we shared the occasional conversation about hockey as I grew to understand the game better and at the games, I would get a subtle wink from the ice. When there was a home game that Ty could not secure a ticket for me, I was more than happy to buy one myself. In a somewhat foreshadowing event, I missed the last home game they played in the Pacific Coliseum because I was on a flight to New York City that very night. Which, to this day, has been the only home game of the Vancouver Giants I have missed since I began watching.

I was traveling on the day of his NHL Draft, on the layover in Phoenix, Arizona (next to Ty’s birthplace of Scottsdale) I madly try to connect airport WiFi hopefully to catch the seventh round. On reaching the 201st pick, I probably gave all the other people in the terminal a shock as I jumped up and screamed in joy. The draft did not really transform Ty into anyone new at all, but it did make him grow quite a bit. The 2016-17 season placed a new test on the team and him, the franchise relocated it’s new home arena and Ty was given the “A”, he stepped up to the challenge. Hard work pays off, the shining display he has put on this year has been years in the making. First and foremost is his commitment to the team and loving the game of hockey, plain and simple.

Ty has been a great inspiration to me, he has been there for me in my hour of need and given me an incredible amount of support as a friend. There is no denying of his heritage, which by the way is half-Norwegian and half-Italian (I swear I have seen that before), but having Cliff Ronning for a dad does not equal signing ELCs. Ty relentlessly works towards his dream of playing in the NHL, and all the doubters or the skeptics are his motivation. Ty’s incredible work ethic has rubbed off on me, and without a doubt inspired many of his fans. I could not be more proud of him, he has a heart of gold, and I am so happy to see that the Rangers out of all the teams in the NHL took a chance on him.

I leave you with the fitting last lines from the hit “New York, New York”: And if I can make it there, I’m gonna make it anywhere. It’s up to you New York, New York, New York.

Lucas Kam FRSA/@LucasKam

Editor’s Update (3/19/18): Ronning was named Humanitarian of the year, which just goes to show his true character as a person on and off the ice.

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