Vancouver Giants’ Ty Ronning gets in the grill of Prince George Cougars goaltender Tavin Grant during WHL action at the Langley Events Centre earlier this season. Ronning was not afraid to go to the dirty areas en route to his single-season team record 61 goals in 2017/18. Gary Ahuja Langley Times file photo

Ronning leaving Giant legacy behind

Vancouver Giants sniper scored team-record 61 goals in final WHL campaign

Ty Ronning loves scoring goals, and he is good at it too.

Especially this past season, his final year of junior hockey with the Vancouver Giants, as the winger potted 61 goals, a new single-season team record.

SEE: Ronning sets new single-season Giants record in OT win

And he was consistent.

Playing in all but two of his team’s 72 contests, Ronning never went more than four games between turning the red light on, and that happened just once, in early October.

A further breakdown reveals he was held goal-less in just 28 games, scored once in 26 contests, while having 13 two-goal games and three hat tricks, scoring a goal in 60 per cent of his team’s games.

Asked to describe the feeling of slipping the puck behind a goaltender and into the net, setting off the goal horn and high fives from his teammates, he had to ponder the question for a minute or so.

“It is a huge rush of joy and emotion. It is the best feeling you can feel, especially if it is a close game,” Ronning explained. “It’s hard to describe because it is such a great feeling — there is no better feeling than scoring a goal for (your team).”

Ronning surpassed Evander Kane’s team record of 48 goals, set back in the 2008/09 season.

“(The record) is a huge honour, especially because I have been here for five years,” Ronning said.

“I grew up in Vancouver, I have played in Vancouver my whole life and to think that I may be able to create some history, put my name on a little thing is kind of cool.”

Ronning has done all this under the pressures and expectations which accompany being the son of not only a former NHLer, but also of one of the more popular members of the Vancouver Canucks, his father, Cliff Ronning.

“There is nothing really to deal with because it has always been there for me and I have grown up with the last name on my back,” he said. “There has always been expectations.”

But the message from his dad — a veteran of 1,137 games, scoring 306 goals and 869 points in that span — has always been simple: “What are they going to criticize you for if you are working your hardest?”

And hard work is clearly evident in the younger Ronning’s game, especially this past season as the Giants had a breakout season, returning to the WHL playoffs for the first time in four years.

“A lot of the doubters and the haters and the nay-sayers about me being too small, too light or too slow or not good enough,” he said about what motivates him.

Ronning is five-foot-seven and 172-pound and has always faced questions about his size. He was noticeably stronger on and off the puck this past season.

“I kind of take that and add it to the fire and I like proving people wrong — it’s an even better feeling than scoring,” he said.

Ronning played a big part in that, whether it was his on-ice production or his mentorship of the team’s younger players.

He is also great off the ice with the team’s fans and Lower Mainland community as evidenced by the fact Ronning is the Western Conference nominee for the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s humanitarian of the year.

The winner — he is up against the Regina Pats’ Matt Bradley — will be announced at the WHL awards on May 2.

“In all my years of working in junior hockey, I’ve met few guys like Ty who are just wired to do good things for the fans and the community,” said Dan O’Connor, the Giants director of media relations and the team’s play-by-play broadcaster.

“He doesn’t need prompting, he doesn’t need to be coached through much of anything. He is a self-starter who often times on his own time will go out of his way to do community work.”

A perfect example of this is when a fan in Burnaby wrote to Ronning earlier this season, Ronning could have done nothing or written a letter back. But instead, he personally delivered a Giants’ jacket to the young fan’s house.

He is a frequent volunteer at the team’s hockey school and always quick to volunteer with the Giants’ Read to Succeed Initiative. And he regularly speaks with students about the importance of perseverance and a strong work ethic.

Giving back was something instilled in Ronning by his parents, Cliff and Ivana.

“I just try to be a good person and if that makes someone smile, I love that,” Ronning said. “It all comes down to hard work and putting smiles on people’s faces.”

And the award nomination means something special.

“It is tremendous. It is right up there with getting drafted into the National Hockey League,” he said.

Ronning was a seventh round draft pick by the New York Rangers in the 2016 NHL entry draft and signed with the team in March.

SEE: Ronning signs with Rangers

He has gone to two rookie camps with the team and spent a dozen games last spring and three more earlier this month with New York’s top AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack. Ronning has a pair of goals and five points in that limited sample size playing professionally against men and will spend the summer training as he gets set to embark on his first full professional season.



sports@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Portland Winterhawks defender Clay Hanus gave Giants winger Ty Ronning some extra attention when the teams met at the LEC. Troy Landreville Langley Times file photo

Just Posted

UPDATE: Highway 1 neard Bridal Falls closed until at least 7 p.m.

Closure expected to last hours, while drivers are told to take detours

Abbotsford student cleans up at national science fair

Raul Pinol, 15, enters project on condensation of water using geothermal energy

B.C. Ferries cancels Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen sailings over propulsion problem

11:00 ferry now good to go, but lines anticipated

OPINION: Don’t let the jerks grind you down

Indecent politicians need to be rejected, whatever their politics

Police investigating early morning stabbing on McCallum Road

Man was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

Suspected scammer attempts to use Black Press newspaper to dupe woman

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre offers tips after Langley resident received suspicious call

Vote points to abortion being legalized in Ireland

Voters asked whether to keep or repeal Eighth Amendment to Roman Catholic Ireland’s Constitution

COLUMN: Women’s breasts really aren’t that big a deal

A follow on some Princeton, B.C., students gained considerable exposure when they dropped their bras

Canadian soccer officials talk up World Cup bid at Champions League final

Current bid calls for 2026 World Cup games to be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

B.C.’s devastating 2017 wildfire season revisited in new book

British Columbia Burning written by CBC journalist Bethany Lindsay

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Most Read