Kyle Ruggles The Best Forward In Michigan Not Playing In The USHL

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Kyle Ruggles – The best forward in Michigan not playing in the USHL

Editor Opinion – Joseph Kolodziej

For the last twelve years I have had the honor to watch Petoskey Michigan native Kyle Ruggles develop as a hockey player. From mini mite to the player he has become today, the transformation has been consistent and there is plenty of room for future growth.

From 2008 through 2011 Ruggles played in the Tier I Mid West Elite League. Setting respectable point totals in every season the 1994 DOB forward made the choice to come home to Petoskey for his senior year of High School and represent his school and community. Reuniting with what is the most talented collective group of players to come out of the small northern Michigan community.

The 1994 and 1995 birth years in Petoskey have constantly produced championship quality players. Most players from the small community leave for larger more publicized programs as soon as they are able, not this season. Not having a travel hockey program in the community for a half dozen years has forced players to seek opportunity in other areas of the state and country.

In my job I am fortunate to watch and assist a lot of players in their hockey careers, and in the interest of disclosure, Kyle Ruggles is not a client of the company I work for. This piece is being written from the standpoint of a fan who simply enjoys watching this player on the ice.

Having skill, hockey sense, maturity, good grades and an unselfish attitude, the team that gets this player next season will be getting a complete player. Defensively responsible, deadly accurate shot, speed, and superior vision are traits that every team is looking for and this player has them all. A player that is so much better than his peers, but humble enough to try to lift them up instead of simply skating by them.

With eight games left in the season, Ruggles is only one goal shy of setting the Petoskey High School scoring record, a record that will stand for a very long time. Ruggles has a supporting cast of 1995 birth year players that are learning how to become better with him, assisting the program and bringing it a sense of excitement that has never been in the community when looking at the hockey team. A team that until tonight would struggle to get fans for a Wednesday night game.

To understand this a little better for most who dont know what Michigan High School hockey is about, it is simply nothing like Minnesota hockey. The best players in Michigan almost always go to play Midget, prep school, or junior as soon as they are able. It is very rare, almost unheard of for a player to want to come home to play and graduate with his friends and team mates he has grown up with. Could it be seen as a step down when looking at his playing resume? Sure. But the way I see it, there some things people do out of want, and others people do out of character, this is an example of both.

I dont know who is scouting Kyle Ruggles, or where he would even like to play next season, but who ever gets this young man will be getting a complete player. More importantly they will be getting a complete person.

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