Twelve months ago, the panel didn't think much of Kenny Ryan's chances to become an impact prospect. In his rookie season, Ryan had been a non-factor for the Marlies, settling for an adequate season in the ECHL with the Reading Royals.
So what changed last year to bring him back into the Top 25?
Well, for startess, the removal of 9 names from the previous TOp 25, due to graduations or the Leafs moving on from certain players, so Ryan was a good bet to move up a few spots anyways. More importantly, despite an overstuffed Marlies lineup, due to new additions, and some forwards added due to the lockout, Ryan was able to carve out a role in Dallas Eakins' lineup, and made significant strides in his sophomore season.
Ryan's 21 points in 59 games was 10th among Marlies forwards, though a couple of those ahead of him were really only Marlies during the lockout. Ryan primarily played on the 3rd or 4th line for the Marlies, but produced enough offence to hint that there might have been somthing more.
The Marlies are going to be extremely young this season. At 22 years old, and going into his 3rd pro season, Ryan has an opportunity to garner a much greater role and stake his claim to being a meaningful prospect. To do so, Ryan will need to show that he can produce enough offence at the AHL level that he can trasnlate it to the NHL level. Ryan's still a long way from developing into an NHL player, but could potentially be an effective third or fourth line player down the road.
EDITION 2 - T-36/41
EDITION 1 -23/45
Had a better than expected year with the Marlies. I guess I have low expectations.
How big of a jump Ryan made depends on how you view his performance last time around. T-36 means that 35 players received at least some sort of vote, but Ryan wasn't one of them. He was tied with six others for last place. If you consider him 36th, he made a big jump of 11 places, but if you consider last place to be 41st, his increase of 16 spots would be the single-highest increase of anybody on this year's list, which would give Ryan a matching title to go with biggest drop from Edition 1 to Edition 2.