Ryan Bednard first became a goalie because he was the youngest player in the driveway hockey games organized by his older brother.
The position he first played at age 7 eventually may earn him a career in professional hockey.
The Falcon recruit could be selected in the National Hockey League Draft this weekend.
The draft is in Sunrise, Fla. The first round is Friday night at 7, followed by rounds two through seven on Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. NBC Sports Network will show the first round, while the NHL Network will show Saturday’s selections.
“There’s a chance I’ll be drafted, but nothing’s for sure,” Bednard said, adding he’s talked to three teams — Winnipeg, Anaheim and the New York Rangers. “If I get drafted, it’ll be in the later rounds.
“It’s been my dream to be drafted. If it happens, it would be great.”
Bednard has been on the NHL’s list of players to watch for the draft since the start of last season. He was ranked 22nd among North American goalies on the final list of prospects by the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau.
But Redline Report ranked Bednard as the seventh-best goalie in the draft.
He was one of four goalies chosen to play in the All-American Prospects Game last season.
“I’ve just tried to work hard and play to my potential every day,” Bednard said.
Of course, going undrafted isn’t the end of the world. Undrafted players routinely go on to have quality careers in college hockey and the NHL.
Bednard will watch the draft at home.
“Getting drafted is a bonus,” Bednard said. “If I don’t get drafted, I’ll continue to work hard for my chance.”
Even if Bednard is drafted, he’ll join the Falcons for the 2017-18 season after junior goalie Tomas Sholl graduates.
But Bednard could arrive at BG a season earlier, if Sholl continues to struggle as he has during his first two seasons or sophomore Chris Nell has more inconsistency. Nell was good overall last season, but struggled during the second half.
The 6-foot-4, 193-pound Bednard had a 2.66 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage in 37 games last season for the Johnstown Tomahawks in the North American (Junior) Hockey League.
He also had a 4.00 goals-against and an .889 save percentage in one game for the Youngtown Phantoms in the United States (Junior) Hockey League. He’ll play the 2015-16 season with the Phantoms.
Bednard, who turns 19 in March, is well thought of because of his work ethic, which should enable him to develop into an even better player.
“Because I’m big, I definitely have good net coverage and I’m quick on my feet,” Bednard said. “I try to let the play come to me. I’m trying to slow the game down and become more economical in my movements.”
Bednard and his older brother, Shane, are from Macomb, Mich. Shane will be a freshman forward for the Falcons this fall.
“I enjoyed being a goalie from the start and then I started to be pretty good at it, so I stuck with it,” Ryan Bednard said.
The Bednards haven’t played on an organized ice hockey team together, although Ryan often has practiced with his brother’s teams. In addition to the driveway games, the Bednards have played on the same roller hockey team.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Bednard of being teammates with his brother at BG. “It’ll be nice to spend those years together, and it’ll be fun to play four years of college hockey.
“It’ll be nice to be on the same team, so our family can see all of the games.”