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Posted On Wednesday, 10.13.2010 / 9:00 AM

By Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins draft blog

Red alert in Red Deer

Hi everyone. I'm Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, am 17-years-old and in my second year playing for the Red Deer Rebels in the Western Hockey League.

I grew up in Burnaby, British Columbia and played for the Burnaby Winter Club. My family includes my dad, Roger; my mom, Debbie, and my 22-year-old brother, Adam.
 
I started skating when I was around 2, and started to play organized hockey at about 4 and have loved it ever since. I got into hockey mostly because my brother played and I kind of just followed in his footsteps. My parents and my brother have been huge supporters of me with hockey, as well as my grandpa and grandma. My trainer Carlo Sferra has also had a huge impact on my hockey career, and I have had many great coaches who have helped me along the way.
 
Last year, playing in Red Deer was a great experience for me and I had a lot of fun. We made the playoffs but got knocked out in the first round by Saskatoon. This year we have 7 wins and 2 losses and are in first place in our conference. We just came off a Saskatchewan road trip where we went 4-0. We're looking good this year and I expect us to be a top 4 team.
 
This is my draft year and I'm really looking forward to the draft in Minnesota, but right now my focus is on the season.
 
This weekend, we have a big game against Saskatoon, which is second in our conference.
 
I'll be blogging once a month to keep everyone up to date on the season. Thanks for taking the time to read this!

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We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff