Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is a center for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. Nugent-Hopkins, selected first overall in the WHL's 2008 bantam draft, was named the league's top rookie in 2009-10 after posting 24 goals and 65 points in 67 games. He was an assistant captain for Team Canada at the Under-18 2010 Ivan Hlinka Memorial and scored the game-winner against Team USA in a 1-0 victory during the gold-medal game. Nugent-Hopkins, who participated in the 2010 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp fueled by G Series in August, has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the NHL Entry Draft in St. Paul, Minn.
Thrilled for invite to Hockey Canada Junior camp
12.08.2010 / 8:00 AM ET
We are pretty close to half way through the season now and our team, the Red Deer Rebels are sitting second in our conference and first in our division with a record of 20-7-3 with 2 shootout losses. We definitely are happy with the way things are going right now and we want to keep it going like this. Personally, in the 30 games so far I have 8 goals and 32 assists for 40 points. I am pretty happy with how things are going personally and with the team. Me and my two linemates are really starting to find good chemistry with each other. I am playing with Andre Kudrna, and John Persson.
The team had a really good weekend, beating the Prince Albert Raiders on Friday, and the Brandon Wheat Kings on Saturday. Brandon had just got Brayden Schenn back so they had a boost on their team and it was good to play against him.
After my Friday night game against Kelowna I will be heading to Toronto for the Canadian National
Junior camp. When i first got news that I was invited to the camp I was extremely excited, to say the least. It was very hard to fall asleep that night. Getting invited to the camp is a huge honour for me. I have watched the World Juniors ever since I can remember and getting the chance to make the team is really exciting and special to me. I'm preparing as much as I can to get ready for the camp and hopefully I am able to crack the roster.
Also, being ranked the top WHL player for the upcoming draft by Central Scouting is another big honour for me. All of this stuff that is happening is really surreal for me and my family. We never really expected all this to happen, but we really enjoy it and embrace it.
Away from the rink, I still like to be a kid and have fun hanging out with the guys on the team. A lot of the time its just playing video games, but its good to just relax and hang out. I am yet to go to the out door rinks this year but I definitely think I will be getting out there sometime soon. I feel its necessary to take advantage of it while I am in Red Deer since we really dont have any in Vancouver.
-- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Snapping from a slump
11.10.2010 / 9:00 AM ET
Well, the first month of the season is done and our team (Red Deer / Western Hockey League) has 11 wins and 6 losses and we're sitting second in our division and third in our conference.
It's been a good start for us, but we definitely could have a better record than that. Right now, I have played 17 games and have 3 goals and 22 assists. The goals are not coming too easy for me right now but I'm really working on bearing down in practice on scoring. I'm also working on my shot after practice whenever I can so I can start putting the puck in the net. It's kind of frustrating that I'm not scoring because I would like to be helping my team out in that way a little bit more, and whenever we lose it's because we can't score goals, so I would like to contribute in that way a little more.
But, I'm just keeping a level head and trying to stay positive as much as I can.
Away from the rink, when the guys get together, we're playing Xbox most of the time. We definitely play NHL '11 quite a bit, but the game we play the most is Tiger Woods '11. No matter what game we are playing, it always gets intense and very competitive.
The WHL Subway Series is coming up on November 17 and 18, and I will be playing for team WHL on the 17th in Kamloops. I'm really excited and looking forward to the game and really happy to get this opportunity. Right now we're on our U.S road trip where we play Seattle, Portland, Tri-City, Everett, Vancouver, and Chilliwack. It's nice to be coming back West and I'm excited and nervous to play in Vancouver again. Hopefully this year goes a little better than last year.
-- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Red alert in Red Deer
10.13.2010 / 9:00 AM ET
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!
-- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins