BY MATT MACKINDER
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Ronnie Attard was eligible for the NHL Draft in 2017 but wasn’t selected.
Same in 2018.
But June 22 in Vancouver, B.C., the 20-year-old White Lake native was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the third round (72nd overall).
“I can’t put it into words,” Attard said. “It’s awesome. I’ve dreamt of this as a kid, but the work is just getting started.”
Attard was also one of 59 Americans drafted in the 217-player, seven-round draft.
“(Attard is a) big right-shot defenseman, which are a premium,” added Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr. “He’s had a big year offensively, and he’s got a big shot. He’s physical, he’s mean, brings an edge. He’s your late bloomer that our guys are excited about.”
This past season, Attard skated his third season for the United States Hockey League’s Tri-City (Neb.) Storm and was named the USA Hockey Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year, USHL Player of the Year and Defenseman of the Year after posting 30 goals and 65 points as a co-captain for the Storm. His 30 goals set a record for the most goals scored in a single season by a defenseman in the history of the USHL. In his previous two seasons with the Storm, Attard managed just 20 points total.
“Ronnie, and other leaders in our locker room, have been instrumental in the success and accomplishments of our team this year,” Tri-City coach-GM Anthony Noreen. “His records from this season are numbers that I see standing for a very long time. Along with his point production, he was also one of the best defensive defensemen in the league this season. He is as good of a leader as I’ve ever been around. Ronnie brings passion to the rink every single day, and he’s our MVP because of the intangibles he brings as a leader. He has paid his dues, worked incredibly hard, and it’s nice to see him get rewarded for all he’s done.”
In the fall, Attard will be a freshman at Western Michigan University, a school that plays in the NCAA Division I powerhouse National Collegiate Hockey Conference.
Attard’s aunt, Vicki Auch, works as the office manager for The Clarkston News.