At 6’3-½, Kitchener Rangers’ pivot Ryan MacInnis doesn’t need much help standing out from the crowd. But when you add in the fact that the St. Louis, MO native is the scion of an NHL legend, it’s hard not to get noticed.
Especially when his father, Al MacInnis, possessed one of the most lethal slapshots in NHL history. So, how does Ryan’s slapshot match up?
“I don’t think you can compare it,” he said. “No.”
Even today, with Ryan a strapping young 17-year-old centre in his draft-eligible year and his father, 50 years old and nearly a decade removed from his final days in the NHL.
“Even now,” MacInnis added, laughing.
With or without the last name, MacInnis is getting notice. NHL Central Scouting ranked him as a B-level prospect in its preliminary Ones to Watch list. And MacInnis explained that this is without him playing even close to his best hockey.
“Obviously I need to play better. I’m still trying to get used to the OHL style of game,” he said. “It’s getting easier and easier — hopefully I should be where I need to be soon.”
In 12 games, he’s accounted for two goals and added two assists. He’s a -4 overall and has admittedly been playing catch-up in the OHL.
So is it the speed of the league? Its style of play? The quality of the systems?
“It might be all of that,” MacInnis said. “The speed is so fast, the systems are the same but they are executed better, I guess.
“It’s just harder to play against.”
A product of the U.S. National Team Development Program, MacInnis said he’s focused on improving his performance, and — hopefully — his NHL Draft stock.
“I was pleased with [the Central Scouting rating], but I’m going to try to do better and hopefully become an A,” he said. “ I just need to get stronger and work harder, I guess. I need to improve everything: speed, shooting, skating.”
And has he received any advice from his Hockey Hall of Fame father?
“He just said work, do what you can, and play your best every shift and it will all work out. That’s what I’m trying to do,” MacInnis said. “He told me to just keep working hard and listen to the coaches — they know what they’re doing.”
Follow Jason Menard on Twitter via @jaycmenard