Ryan Tesink is a versatile center/left winger who recently won the 2011 President’s Cup and Memorial Cup with the Saint John Sea Dogs. The smooth-skating forward was a QMJHL rookie in 2010-11, and is noted for playing an unselfish two-way game. At 18, Tesink is draft eligible for the first time and is currently ranked 47th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. He projects to be drafted somewhere in the middle rounds.
Tesink tallied eight goals and 27 assists in 59 games this past season. His modest offensive numbers are partially the result of playing checking-line minutes on a team stacked with skilled second, third and fourth-year players. His plus-26 rating is indicative of his polished defensive game. At just 5’11, 157 pounds, Tesink has plenty of room to pack on the pounds, something he will have ample opportunity to accomplish playing another couple seasons in the QMJHL.
Hockey’s Future caught up with Tesink prior to the 2011 Memorial Cup Championship game in Mississauga.
Hockey’s Future: How did you feel that your year went?
Ryan Tesink: I think I had a great year for my first year playing major junior hockey. I had a great start obviously, but I kind of slowed down a bit when guys came back [from injuries]; I got a little less ice time but I think I make up for it every chance I get.
HF: Congratulations on your team’s recent President’s Cup Victory. What’s the difference between playing in the Memorial Cup as opposed to the QMJHL playoffs?
RT: It’s a much different format. Obviously, you have to win 16 games to win the President’s Cup. Here it’s just a tournament format where you have to be playing your best hockey right away. You can’t get behind the eight ball – you’ve got to come out strong.
HF: This being your rookie year, do you feel you’ve improved as a player from the start of the season to where you are currently?
RT: I think just adjusting to the size of the players, and the strength of a lot of the older guys. The speed of the game is much faster and I’ve learned to make decisions quicker.
HF: Are there areas of your game that you feel you need to develop further?
RT: I think my strength, which will help develop a few other areas. I think as I get stronger my shot will get better.
HF: Past or present, which NHL player would you say you play a similar style to?
RT: I think Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks. We both play a two-way game. We can both be pretty offensive, and we’re both leaders. I’m not a leader on this team but I try to lead by example, being a rookie.
HF: Who do you give credit to for the success you’ve experienced this season and throughout your career thus far?
RT: My family. Obviously my parents who’ve supported me all the way through and paid for everything. They just told me to do what I wanted to do and whatever makes me happy.
HF: How have you guys been killing time during your few days off here in Mississauga?
RT: Yesterday we went to the Hockey Hall of Fame. A couple days ago we went to a Toronto Blue Jays game. Just trying to find stuff to do, like going to the mall.
HF: What’s your go-to exercise when you’re at the gym?
RT: Probably squats.
HF: What’s on youre iPod right now?
RT: I like Mac Miller and Sam Adams. They’re both pretty good.
HF: What’s the last movie you saw?
RT: We just saw Bridesmaids – all of the boys. It was pretty funny.
HF: How do you kill time on the bus when you’re on the road?
RT: We’ll listen to iPods, play cards, watch movies – just whatever there is to do.
HF: As a child, which NHL team did you follow?
RT: The Toronto Maple Leafs.
HF: What’s your go-to shootout move?
RT: Backhand five-hole.
HF: How did you score your first QMJHL goal?
RT: Yeah, actually it was the first game of the season so I remember it. I did a big celebration – jumped into the glass. It was a three on two. I think (Jonathan) Huberdeau shot the puck and I went to the net, rebound came to me and I just whacked it in with my backhand. Just a gritty goal.
HT: What are your plans for the summer?
RT: I have a big summer coming up, hopefully getting drafted, and I have to train really hard. I’m expecting to go to an NHL camp somewhere.