While the BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game marks the first competitive opportunity on Saddledome ice for Ryan MacInnis of the Kitchener Rangers, there is a long history of his family’s success in the building that accommodates the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League. Ryan's father, Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Al MacInnis, spent parts of 13 seasons with the Flames, including the Stanley Cup-winning campaign in 1988-89.
The elder MacInnis wound up his professional career with the St. Louis Blues and while there, Ryan was born on Valentine’s Day in 1996. He grew up playing minor hockey in the USA and won a national championship with the St. Louis Blues AAA program. At the 2012 OHL Priority Selection, Ryan was chosen in the third round, 46th overall, by the Kitchener Rangers, the same organization his father skated for during his junior career.
Ryan MacInnis, now just a few weeks away from his 18th birthday, is off to a solid start with the Rangers in this, his rookie season. Through 42 games, he has scored 11 times and added 15 assists, good for fourth on a Kitchener team that is likely to miss post-season play. At 6’4” and 185 pounds, MacInnis is indeed targeted by opponents, given his penchant for contributing offensively.
“Ryan is an extremely intelligent player,” said Rangers head coach Troy Smith. “He plays in all key situations for us. He has great vision distributing the puck and is always in good position on the ice, including running our power-play.”
MacInnis acknowledges that his father has had a huge impact on his love for hockey and while the name recognition will certainly not hurt him during his junior career, in terms of garnering attention from pro scouting staffs, he recognizes that he is solely responsible for continuing the development of his skill set. To this end, NHL Central Scouting has kept close tabs on the big center.
He is 33rd among North American skaters in the CSS midterm rankings. According to Central Scouting, “he is a responsible two-way center, he sees the ice and anticipates very well to generate scoring chances. He has size and reach assets which he utilizes effectively to break up plays and back check. He keeps his head up and his feet moving, allowing him to quickly capitalize on opportunities.”
MacInnis is one of six OHL players to have played in the CCM USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game earlier this season, five of whom are in Calgary this week for the CHL's more storied version of the top prospects event.
Right-click here to download this Hockey's Future Podcast.
Follow Glen Erickson on Twitter via @glenerickson51