He’s played in all but three games for the Red Deer Rebels this season. But that’s not the most impressive durability feat for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
After seven months, dozens of video features, daily interviews and endless discussion the Burnaby, BC native has not grown tired of talking about the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Even more, he’s relishing it.
“It’s a once and a lifetime opportunity that I’m going through right now so I’m trying to embrace it as much as I can,” said Nugent-Hopkins, the top-ranked prospect by Future Considerations for the last handful of months.
Though he has one of the most demanding media schedules of any junior hockey player in Canada, the Nugent-Hopkins hysteria hasn’t gotten to the son of Roger and Deb.
Nor has the pressure.
“If you let it affect you in the wrong way it can be difficult but you have to take it as a positive thing and just use it to your advantage and use it as more motivation to get better,” said Nugent-Hopkins.
It certainly has propelled him to be better.
The 17-year-old, who is one of just three draft eligible players to topple the 100-point plateau this season, has increased his production in the WHL dramatically this season. His 74 assists is nine better than his entire point total last season, while his 28 goals is also a personal best.
“Going into the season I had 100 points in the back of my mind so I am pretty happy to reach that goal,” he said.
Always one to dish credit as effortlessly as he does the puck, Nugent-Hopkins was quick to share the accomplishment with his teammates.
“It definitely wouldn’t have happened without the team I’m playing with.”
And sharing in his success is one thing that Nugent-Hopkins will never get tired of.
Aaron Vickers is the managing editor of Future Considerations and can be found on Twitter. For all the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed, on YouTube and on Facebook!