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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

Province bringing 421 new affordable childcare spaces to Fraser Valley

Supporting early childhood educators and creating spaces go hand in hand, minister says

Aspiring pot-sellers can apply in two weeks to operate stores in Abbotsford

City will accept applications to operate one of four new stores; public consultation to follow

Nine Abbotsford citizens fleeced for over $68,000 by bitcoin scammers

Police warn public about fraudsters who threaten arrest

Comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

Surrey tells Uber to cease operations in city, but company ‘respectfully’ declines

Ridesharing company told to stop operating within the city by 9 p.m. Jan. 24

Coronavirus concerns cause cancellation of Langley Lunar New Year celebration

Close to 1,000 were expected to attend the annual Live In Langley event on Saturday

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Most Read