K is for Kujawinski
July 26, 2014
As Kingston Frontenacs look to build on a 2013-2014 regular season in which their 84 points were second most in the Eastern Conference of the Ontario Hockey League, 1995 birth-year centre Ryan Kujawinski is eagerly awaiting the 2014-2015 campaign.
For one, Kujawinski — a 6-foot-2, 200 pounder who grew up in the northeastern Ontario town of Iroquois Falls and moved to Sudbury as a 15-year old to play minor-midget hockey — is about to enter his fourth OHL season.
For another, the big centre will be out to further impress officials of the New Jersey Devils, who took Kujawinski in the third round of the 2013 National Hockey League.
Then there’s the fact that Kingston as a team will be out to rebound from a disappointing playoff that followed its 84-point regular season — the Frontenacs blew a three-games-to-none lead in the first round and lost Game 7 in overtime at home to the Peterborough Petes.
To be sure, there is motivation aplenty for Kujawinski to end his OHL career in style with Kingston under 28-year old rookie head coach Paul McFarland, who was hired to replace former NHL defenceman Todd Gill, who was fired shortly after the Frontenacs playoff plummet against Peterborough.
Close to a point-per-game player since entering the OHL in 2011 as a first-round (fourth overall pick) of the Sarnia Sting — he was traded to Kingston at the trade deadline that season for veteran forward Ryan Spooner, who has since made it to the NHL with the Boston Bruins — Kujawinski is coming off a 2013-2014 campaign in which he had 23 goals, 18 assists, 41 points despite missing 23 games with hand and knee injuries.
By his own admission, Kujawinski has areas of his game that need improvement.
“I think I have got to be more consistent,” he told Sun Media.
“I need to work hard on my defensive game and my offensive game. Right now, my offensive game is better than my defensive game.
“The big thing is just getting bigger, faster, stronger. I want to improve my cardio and maybe lose a few pounds, not that I am big, but just to get lighter and faster,” he added.
From a team perspective, Kujawinski hopes the Frontenacs can put last year’s playoff loss to Peterborough in the past.
“As a team, you always want to win,” he said.
“Last year was a hard loss in the playoffs and I think we are going to be eager to get at it this year.”
Kingston — despite icing some good teams — has not won a playoff series since 1998.
PHOTO: Ryan Kujawinski of the Kingston Frontenacs. (Photo by Aaron Bell.)
What you think about “K is for Kujawinski”
Kuja can be a 35 Goal Scorer for us no doubt in my mind. Hopefully the new Coach McFarland does not rely on 1 Line which is why the Fronts lost to the fu–ing Petes after being up 3 nothing in the Playoffs.
Good article on Ryan K Randy! He has the potentiel for 75 – 80 points but as even Ryan says he needs to play with more consistantly.
I think if the Frontenacs can find a top # 1 goalie then this coming seasson could be the one that we finally win a Playoff Series. Alot also depend on whether Bennett returns and who our Over-agers are.
We remember Ryan when he came to Sudbury for his Minor Midget year and have watched him develop with Kingston the last 3 Yrs. Ryan sure would look nice in a Wolves uniform! Best of Luck to you in your career Ryan!
Tony and Iola
Played ball with Ryan’s dad Frank for a few years here in KL . Great family . Hoping he has an injury free season so he can show how good he really is .
Mike, When did the Kujawinskis move from Kirkland to Iroquois Falls?
Not sure exactly Randy , but it was in the 90’s . I thought his boys were both born here but I cant remember the year for sure .
I’m sure Frank told me Ryan was born after they moved to the falls, Kalvin might of been an infant/toddler! I know both learned to skate in Igloo!
Good article Randy, if you recall our emails going back some 6 or 7 years back i spoke of a special player in peewee, that would Ryan, Ryans best friend Body Silk was all the talk at that time but I had my buck on #17! both turned into good players and think both will have their best seasons in 2014-15!
And yes, I sure do remember you talking about the young peewee phenom who, as it turns out, is Ryan Kujawinski, now in his fourth OHL season and an NHL draft pick to boot. Good how it has worked out for him so far.
And here’s hoping that Brody Silk overcomes his injuries and has a big season as an overager.