Ryan McDonagh is one of the best young players in the NHL. His superior skating ability and strength separate him from most other defensemen. In just his first few years in the league, McDonagh has already solidified himself as a top-line shut down defender, and he will showcase his talents in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
McDonagh proves his abilities on a nightly basis as he routinely goes up against the opposing team’s top scorers. Playing in the Eastern Conference, the St. Paul, Minn. native has gained experience playing against the world’s best scorers in Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin.
Not only is McDonagh an excellent defender, but he also has a playmaking ability that is rare for defensemen. He recorded 32 points in 2011-12 and 19 in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. So far this season, McDonagh has put up 30 points and flirts with the first 40 point season of his career.
At just 24, McDonagh still has a lot to accomplish. With the young New York Ranger on defense, Team USA has a good chance of improving on the Silver Medal won in the 2010 Winter Olympics. There is a lot of responsibility on McDonagh’s shoulders as it is going to be his job to shut down the plethora of elite scorers in this year’s Olympic Games. In the team’s first game against Slovakia he will be matched up against ex-teammate Marion Gaborik.
Ryan McDonagh is young but has already solidified his reputation as a top-line defender. The 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi will be his first Olympics, but don’t expect that to rattle the young defenseman. The Olympics will serve as an opportunity for McDonagh to showcase his talents to the world.