WHL Next Generation: Ronan Seeley
WHL Next Generation is a 23-part series highlighting a handful of the future stars of the Western Hockey League. From first-round bantam draft picks to later-blooming selections, get to know the names of players set to establish themselves as the newest crop of exciting talent to grace the WHL. From August 1 through August 31, get the inside scoop on the incoming rookie class of 2018-19.
Team: Everett Silvertips
Ronan Seeley has been an excellent defender for his past clubs and the Everett Silvertips are hoping that he can translate that success to the WHL.
The Silvertips selected the Olds, Alta. product with the 20th pick in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft after he put up 38 points (8G-30A) in 35 games with the Red Deer Rebels Bantam AAA. He built on that to rack up 31 points (5G-26A) in 30 games in his first Midget season in Lethbridge.
“It was amazing,” said Seeley. “It was a new experience for me not living at home, but it was lots of fun living with my billets and my two billet brothers. The season itself was good as well. We played well as a team and I had a lot of fun.”
In addition to enjoying the season, the Lethbridge Hurricanes Midget AAA found success, going on a deep playoff run and winning the AMHL championship.
“We had a lot of good coaches and instructors who helped up along the way,” stated the Silvertips prospect. “They helped us keep our focus and tune our skills which helped us win the championship.”
“Winning the championship was really cool. It was my first experience winning the Alberta title at that level. It was really neat, and I am glad I got to experience it with the group of guys that I did. Playing with them was great all year and I am glad we got to experience it together. Winning the title also meant we got to go to the Telus Cup in Ontario.”
— EdgeBossHockey (@EdgeBossHockey) April 2, 2018
At the Telus Cup, the Hurricanes went 3-1-1 in the round robin and, after a loss to Magog in overtime, found themselves in a battle for the Bronze Medal with Toronto, who they beat taking home third-place. Seeley recorded seven points (2G-5A) in seven games and was named the tournaments Most Valuable Player.
“It was a really cool experience being able to play at the national level,” said Seeley. “It’s all the top teams and all the top players that you are playing against. It was a really cool experience to take in and I learned as much as I could and performed really well.”
“Being named MVP was a huge honour when you consider it’s one of the top tournaments for my age group. It was really cool, and I was very honoured to receive it.”
— TELUS Cup (@HC_TELUSCup) April 28, 2018
In addition to playing at the Telus Cup, the 5-foot-10 defenceman was also named to Team Alberta for the WHL cup where he posted three points (1G-2A) in five games with a plus +/- 5 in five games.
“It was a really good experience and boosted my confidence to know that even at the top level with all that talent I can still perform well. It was an honour representing Alberta and while we fell just short the whole tournament was amazing to be a part of.”
— Ronan Seeley (@ronanseeley) October 25, 2017
With the local, provincial, and national success in the rear-view mirror, Seeley has focused his attention to next season, where he hopes to make a push for a roster spot.
“I had been working hard to get bigger, faster and stronger,” said Seeley. “Attending the U17 [development] camp in Calgary was a good experience and helped me grow as well. I am working out twice a day and making sure that I am ready when training camp starts.”
“The WHL also has a tough schedule with lots of travel compared to midget leagues so I have also been trying to prepare for that the best I can.”
Everett has a lot of travel in their schedule, including a long trip to the East division. Yet it didn’t faze them last season as they made it to the 2018 Rogers WHL Championship Final where they fell short to the Swift Current Broncos.
Seeley hopes he can help Everett return there, and hopefully surpass their shortcomings and take home the Ed Chynoweth Cup.
“I’m going to be a consistent player, always performing my best and helping the team however I can,” stated Seeley. “My vision and my skating are my biggest strengths, so I will be using them to the best of my ability. I like to use be creative in the defensive zone, ensuring that the first pass is always on target and joining the rush to add a two-way factor into my game.”
With the departure of overage defenceman Kevin Davis, the Silvertips will look to fill his massive role, and Seeley could be the man to take the job.
Seeley and the Silvertips will kick off their preseason in the Everett Silvertips Tournament on Friday August 31st when they hose the Tri-City Americans at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Wash.
Most outstanding d-man, 1st rounder, from Red Deer to the Tips.
— Everett Silvertips (@WHLsilvertips) May 18, 2017
What is your favorite food?
Steak and Potatoes.
What is a hobby of yours that not many people know about?
I enjoy downhill mountain biking
Is there a song you could sing solely based of memory with no lyrics in front of you?
Without Me by Eminem
What fad or trend do you wish would come back?
I would like to see the mannequin challenge come back because there isn’t any dancing involved.
Who was your favorite hockey player to watch growing up?
I enjoyed and still enjoy watching Sidney Crosby, he isn’t my position, but he is such a dynamic and creative player, as a defenceman I can still learn lots from him.