We recently sat down with Pro Hockey player Ryan Flanigan. Ryan currently plays for the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL. During his Pro Career Ryan has spent time between the AHL, ECHL and CHL. Ryan played College Hockey at Merrimack; as a Junior and Senior he was a dominant force for the breakout Hockey East program.
1.) Explain the amount of dedication that you have for the game of Hockey and the importance of practice.
To this day I still take each day as the most important day of my career. I’m always trying to get better and I use practice as the time to improve my game.
2.) What allows you to be confident while under pressure?
Belief in myself and my abilities gives me the necessary confidence under pressure.
3.) What professional Hockey player did you look up to when you were
growing up and why?
Growing up my favorite player was Paul Kariya because he was such a dynamic player and had such poise with the puck. My youth team was the Ducks so naturally I had to choose him.
4.) Have you always felt that you would make it to the Professional level?
I knew I had the ability to play if given the right opportunity and as long as I kept my nose to the grindstone I could accomplish my dream.
5.) What is the most important lesson you have learned while playing
Patience and mental toughness. It’s so easy to get down on yourself so having the ability to stay focused and letting go of negative thoughts has been one big thing I have used on and off the ice.
6.) What influence have your parents had on you while playing hockey?
They have been the backbone of my career since day 1 and have given me every chance to succeed in this sport.
7.) What Coach had the biggest impact on your career and why?
Mark Dennehy had to have the biggest impact on my career. I learned so much both about hockey and life. He gave me a chance and I was happy to make the most of it.
8.) Was there ever a time in your career where you weren’t playing a lot or
having success on the ice? How did you handle this and get back to playing at a
There was a time in prep school. Knowing I had the talent but was just sitting there was tough. I persevered and kept the belief in myself and worked harder than anyone. I then went out there with an care free attitude and just played my game.
9.) What do you think is the most important factor that allowed you to be
successful in the game of Hockey?
Having a coach who believes in you and your talents.
10.) What drill would you like to pass on to Prodigy Hockey players to help
develop their game? How does the drill work?
Any small area games are so crucial in young development. They are not only fun but competitive and build skill at the same time. I would recommend them to any youth coach for their players.