For my third installment of Rangers player profiles I’ve decided to go with one of the teams best home grown talents of the post-lockout NHL, Ryan Callahan. Callahan is an essential piece to the Rangers now and to their future and there is no doubt that every NHL GM would love a guy like him on their team. Constantly reminding everyone of Adam Graves, here’s Ryan Callahan…
Weight: 187 lbs
Drafted: 4th round (127th overall) 2004 by the New York Rangers
NHL Experience: currently in his 5th NHL season
Before the NHL:
Before being drafted by the Rangers in 2004, the American born Callahan decided to go the CHL route to develop his amateur game to the NHL level rather than the college route like many American’s choose. Callahan played with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League and enjoyed success there. In his four seasons with Guelph Callahan recorded 130 goals and 107 assists in 249 games, while also adding 21 goals and 29 assists in 50 career playoff games. Callahan was drafted after his second season with the Storm.
Ryan Callahan has represented his country in international play twice including the World Junior Classic in 04-05 as well as this past years Olympics. At the WJC Callahan recorded 1 goal and 2 assists in 7 games. This past year in the Olympics Callahan was able to provide more than scoring the US team. He and Chris Drury became the go-to penalty killers for team USA helping guide them to a silver medal finish and almost going all the way for the Gold before losing in OT to Canada. As for the stat sheet, Callahan finished with 1 assist in 6 games, but his contributions to that team were unmeasurable by stats.
In Callahan’s first two years as a pro he enjoyed some up and down success. He would play games with the big club but Renney at the time thought it fit that Callahan needed to polish up his game in Hartford. In 06-07 Callahan played 14 games with the Rangers and 60 with the Wolf Pack. In 07-08 the story was opposite when Callahan was able to suit up for 52 games with the Rangers and 11 for the Wolf Pack. I remember seeing Callahan (and the entire Wolf Pack team) in Virginia with my brothers. We weren’t hesitant to assure Callahan that he would be back with the Rangers full time in a matter of days, and we weren’t wrong.
Since 07-08 Callahan has been a staple on a Rangers team that is trying to build the identity of a hard-working grinding team, and he has played in almost every Rangers contest since.
Callahan’s NHL totals include 57 goals and 52 assists in 235 contests although it seems like this season is Callahan’s breakout year on the stat sheet. So far this season Callahan has provided the Rangers with 4 goals and 9 assists in 11 games receiving help from his linemates Dubinsky and Anisimov in catapulting themselves to the top line.
But Callahan’s NHL accomplishment’s go way beyond the stat sheet. From fourth round draft pick to Alternate captain for his second season now with the New York Rangers, Ryan Callahan has been a special teams beast for the Rangers. Almost always receiving the most penalty killing time Callahan is a force. Never afraid to throw his body to block a shot Callahan maintains a focus that is almost unteachable, and a determination that is necessary.
Outlook 2010-2011 and Beyond:
I believe we as Rangers fans are currently in the midst of something that is going to be very special this year. With Callahan on a line with two other home grown Rangers in Dubinsky and Anisimov we are watching these three players grow right before our eyes and it is very special.
After losing Jaromir Jagr to Russia this team has been trying so desperately to get an identity for themselves and I think they’ve finally found it. Last night on MSG against the Blackhawks, all you heard out of Joel Quennville, or Toews, or Kane, or Keith, was that the Rangers were a hard working team. This identity goes right back to Ryan Callahan, the type of player that will outwork you to every puck, hit you every time he gets the chance, go to the dirty areas of the ice to win battles, and grind and grind until he finally puts the puck into the net.
As of now it seems that there is nothing stopping Ryan Callahan from having his best season yet, and at the young age of 25, not even in the prime of his NHL career, he has a incredibly bright future ahead of him. Maybe he’s not best suited to be playing on the top line where he is for the Rangers right now, but I’d bet that any team in the NHL would want Ryan Callahan penciled in on their second line every game of every season.
About the Author
Written by Adam Gavriel