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Gophers freshman Ryan Chesley almost quit hockey before he started

Ryan Chesley is a top prospect for the 2022 NHL Draft, but if he didn't give the game another shot at age 7, he may not have ended up where he is today.

Ryan Chesley began playing hockey in earnest at age 7.
Contributed / USNTDP

MAHTOMEDI, Minn. — Where would Ryan Chesley's life have taken him if he didn't play hockey? The 2022 NHL Draft top prospect is at the top of his game, but there was a time when he walked away from hockey.

"My dad got me into it (hockey) when I was about 5 years old," Ryan Chesley said. "I got on the ice with all my friends and I couldn't recognize them because we had the helmets and the cages on. I started crying, got off the ice, quit for two years and then I tried it again when I was 7 and loved it ever since."

When Chesley got back on the ice, he began to excel at his game and always played a level up. He moved away from home in the eighth grade, where he took his game to the next level at Shattuck St. Marys where he would spend a few years. His career took another turn when one program took interest in his skill-set.


Age: 18
Hometown: Mahtomedi, Minn.
Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-0
Weight: 201 pounds
Current team: University of Minnesota
NHL Rights: Top prospect eligible for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft
Elite Prospects Profile Link


Kirsten Krull covers juniors and prospects for The Rink Live. She is a 2020 St. Cloud State graduate, and has been working in the hockey world for over six years, covering many levels of the game from juniors to the NHL.
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