2021-22 Team: Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)
Date of Birth: May 19th, 2004
Place of Birth: Hull, MA, USA
Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 172 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible
Being a right-handed shot is an invaluable asset to carving out an NHL career. Similar to a left-handed pitcher in baseball, the rarity of the right-shot defenseman can be advantageous to an NHL roster. They can help add balance and flexibility to a team’s defensive pairings over the course of a season. Being a right-shot defenseman is just the beginning in describing 2022 NHL Draft Prospect Ryan Healey.
Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide
Healey is the son of Eric Healey, who played 13 pro hockey seasons, mostly, nine seasons to be exact, in the American Hockey League (AHL). Eric played his only two NHL games with the Boston Bruins roster during the 2005-06 season. The rest of his professional career was spent in Europe playing in Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and Austria. Post-retirement, Eric Healey began coaching his son through the Boston Advantage youth hockey program. Through his father’s experiences, Ryan has had the guidance that not many other prospects get when trying to make it to the NHL.
The Boston Advantage organization takes pride in the development of their players. The strength of their skill development came to fruition through Healey’s performance this season in the United States Hockey League (USHL). In his first full campaign, he had 21-points in 59 games on a Sioux Falls Stampede team that struggled in 2021-22. Playing on the top pairing at just 17 years old, he played against opponents’ top players every night.
He has plenty of experience playing against top competition; he was invited to play in the Biosteel All-American Hockey Game, which features some of the top American prospects heading into the NHL draft. On top of that, he was also selected to be on the Under-18 Team USA roster for the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in 2021. While competing against some of the top Under-18 prospects around the world he had two assists in four contests.
Despite the prowess he has shown at a young age, he can sometimes be too aggressive on the ice. Critics have noted that sometimes he is too aggressive in his play-making, and will try to make game-changing plays at inopportune times. However, Healey improved as a physical, defensive defenseman throughout the 2021-22 season. While he can chip in offensively, the numbers don’t jump out at you, however, his ability to run the blue line on the power play and make strong reads in the offensive zone is well noted by scouts who watched him this season. Heading to Harvard this fall, he’ll play in a program that has produced loads of NHL talent over the last few years, including Alex Killorn, Adam Fox, and Alexander Kerfoot.
Other THW Profiles
Ryan Healey – NHL Draft Projection
Healey’s ability to think the game at a high speed will help him in terms of his draft stock. His ability to play physical hockey, and make quick plays in the defensive zones could help him in going as high as the opening picks of the third round. More likely is for him to go in the fourth round, however, don’t be surprised if he moves up to the end of the third round.
“Defensively, he was solid with his gap control and forcing players towards the outside. One thing he needs to do more is shoot the puck. He had very few attempts this game and it will only help he and his team generate more offense. Overall, I was really impressed with his game and his marts that come with the high end skill. Most likely he’ll end up being a mid-round pick but I wouldn’t be surprised if he sneaks up into one of the earlier rounds either. If all goes well I think we’re looking at a second-pairing defensemen that is used on the power play.” – Douglas Larson, FC Hockey (from, ‘22765 – Sioux Falls vs. Des Moines’, FC Hockey, 11/10/21)
“Healey is the type of prospect I think fans, scouts, and coaches can always get behind. In the defensive zone, he can occasionally be a little too aggressive. Otherwise, I found his defensive game incredibly appealing in this game. He craves physicality and can impose himself on junior opponents. He also gets into shot and passing lanes with ease, as a super impactful defensive option. He can also make plays under pressure or along the boards to transition his team out of their own zone.” – Joshua Frojelin, FC Hockey (from ‘23185 – Sioux Falls vs. Omaha’, FC Hockey, 01/14/22)
- Hockey lineage
- Defensive Maturity
- Hockey IQ
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
Healey has the ceiling of a second-pairing defenseman in the NHL. The ability to ‘quarterback’ a power play from the blue line lends for a potential second-unit power-play option in the NHL. Size and physicality are not really an issue for him in terms of taking those necessary steps to get to the NHL. Devon Toews of the Colorado Avalanche, a fourth-round pick to the New York Islanders in 2014, is a good mid-round pick comparison for Healey. At a similar size, Toews also had similar statistics during his draft year.
Risk – 3/5 Reward 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 4/10, Defense – 5/10
Awards and Achievements
Healey was a participant in the BioSteel All-American Game for 2022. He was also selected to play on the U18 USA Team for the 2021 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Other achievements include being a mid-season addition to the United States National Development Team (USNTDP) Under-17 team in 2020-21.
Ryan Healey Statistics
Eric Healey Statistics found via eliteprospects.com
Law student, who loves all thing sports. Connor is a former college athlete who understands sports from a players perspective. Based out of Detroit, fell in love with hockey by going to the old Joe Louis Arena watching those legendary 2000s Red Wing teams. Connor will talk to anyone who will listen on player performance, draft prospects, and front office management around the NHL. In his free time he loves to golf, although his scorecard may tell you otherwise. Covering all things Tampa Bay Lightning.