However, his size — or lack thereof — doesn’t stand in the way of his determination to play hockey with the big boys.
Ryan, a member of the Western Kings entry in the provincial major midget hockey league, will get a better sense of his compete level when he attends the training camp of the Pictou County Weeks Crushers of the Maritime Junior Hockey League next week.
“I don’t have the height for it, but if you got the heart for it and you work hard then it will work out good for you,” Ryan said earlier this week about the next challenge in his young hockey career.
Ryan is a speedy forward who doesn’t mind going to the tough areas of the ice and he plays the game like a he has a much bigger body than he does. The jump from major midget to junior is a tough one for most guys his age so he will do what he can to earn his way with the team.
He was the third pick for Pictou at the league draft earlier this summer. He was excited to get a call from the team and heard great things about the organization so he would love to wear the team jersey.
A guy known for a strong work ethic around local hockey circles, Ryan believes smaller players are handling themselves quite well at all levels of hockey because the game is more about quickness and agility than it is about being a physical marvel and playering a punishing brand of hockey.
It is that type of shift he hopes will play out in his favour like it did for others who didn’t have size on their side.
“Nothing comes without hard work,” he said. “I will do what it takes to get it done and I will try to put the team ahead of me.”
With one more year of major midget eligibility left, Ryan will give it his best shot at training camp and if it’s not meant to be this year then he will stay at home and try to earn his spot back with this year’s edition of the Kings and hope to give it another shot sooner rather than later.