They may all be teammates right now, but every Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguin player followed a different path to becoming a professional hockey player. From the time they first stood on skates, there have been influential coaches, lessons learned and players they wanted to emulate.
Each week we’ll take a look at how each Penguin player got their early start in the sport.
Player: Ryan Haggerty
Hometown: Stamford, Conn.
How old were you when you began skating and playing hockey?
“I started skating when I was 3. My dad coached and I used to go on the ice and push a milk crate around. Ever since I’ve been hooked.”
Who had the biggest influence on your start in hockey?
“My dad. He was an athlete, and baseball and hockey were my sports. I played hockey as much as I could in the driveway and backyard, and my dad built an ice rink in the backyard all winter. It was my passion.”
When did you decide to become a forward?
“I didn’t want to play defense. I just wanted to score.”
What important lesson did you learn as a kid that you still apply to your game today?
“At the end of the day you have to go out and compete and be better than the day before. But the biggest thing is enjoy the game. If you take it too seriously or if you put too much on yourself, then you end up fighting yourself more than anything else.”
What advice do you have for a young player?
“Most of my ability came from me just playing with friends in the driveway or pickup hockey in the neighborhood. I just did it as much as I could, especially away from the rink, to get better.”