The moment, many years ago, is burned in Ty Ronning’s memory.
He was at a White Spot restaurant with his dad Cliff, and noticed a Vancouver Giants pamphlet.
His dad, a Vancouver Canucks legend who scored 869 NHL points and was a key member of the squad during their run to the 1994 Stanley Cup final, told his son, “If you work hard enough, you’ll get there some day.”
Suffice to say, Ty, a right-handed shooting winger, has arrived and then some.
The Burnaby-born Ronning may stand five-foot-nine, but he’s been a true Giant this season.
Ronning was not only named the WHL On the Run Player of the Week for the week ending Sunday, Feb. 4, he also earned CHL Player of the Week honours.
And for good reason.
Over the course of the Giants three victories last week the New York Rangers’ prospect led the charge offensively with five goals and two assists for seven points and a plus-three rating.
On Wednesday, 20-year-old Ronning led all Giants with two goals and an assist in a 4-1 victory against the Calgary Hitmen.
He followed that up with another two goals Friday night in a 4-2 victory against Calgary, and chimed in with a goal and an assist on Saturday in Vancouver’s 5-4 victory over Medicine Hat. Ronning was named the first star on both Friday and Saturday.
“I’m very confident in my abilities, right now,” Ronning said. “I’m rolling with things and things are going well.”
Ronning is currently enjoying a historical season with the Giants.
Through 52 games, Ronning leads the team in goals (47), points (64), power play goals (12) and insurance goals (seven) and his 266 shots on goal are tops in the WHL.
His 47 goals ranks him second in the Western Hockey League trailing only Moose Jaw’s Jayden Halbgewachs.
He also happens to be one goal shy of matching Evander Kane’s single season franchise record for goals (48) and three shy from becoming the Vancouver Giants first ever 50-goal scorer.
Selected 15th overall by the Giants in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft, Ronning has appeared in 267 career regular season games. During that span he’s notched 113 goals and 87 assists for 200 career WHL points.
Credit good genes for the younger Ronning’s success at the major junior level.
Just like his dad, five-foot-nine Ty is deceptively quick, handles the puck like the tape of his stick is smothered with Krazy Glue, and has cerebral hockey sense and killer instinct, especially in the offensive zone.
But Ronning is no perimeter player, as Giants head coach Jason McKee pointed out.
“Scoring’s not easy,” McKee said. “You have to work to score and he’s figured that out. He goes to the hard areas on aconsistent basis and he’s got a great shot to beat goalies in the slot. He’s scored a lot of goals this year (that are) two, three feet around the net and I’d like to see more of our guys get to that area on a consistent basis.”
After wrapping up an eight-game home stand with a 4-2-2-0 record, the Vancouver Giants (28-16-5-3) return to the road Wednesday for a battle with the B.C. Division leading Kelowna Rockets (32-16-3-1). The puck drops at 7:05 p.m.