EDMONTON - University of Alberta Golden Bears hockey alumnus Derek Ryan has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Carolina Hurricanes.
“Derek is a skilled, playmaking center,” said Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Hurricanes."He’s taken a bit of an unconventional path, but has earned a chance to play professionally in North America after having success at every level in Europe. We’re excited that he chose our organization.”
Ryan, 28, totaled 15 goals and 45 assists (60 points) in 55 games for Orebro of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) in 2014-15. The Spokane, WA, native was named the SHL’s Forward of the Year and Most Valuable Player following the season. Prior to playing in Sweden, Ryan (5’10”, 170 lbs.) helped Team USA capture the 2013 Deutschland Cup, and spent three seasons in the Austrian league.
Ryan played for the U of A from 2008 to 2011 and banked 86 goals, 121 assists and 207 points in 165 CIS games played, which places him 18th in all-time Golden Bears’ points. He captured a CIS title with the Bears in his rookie season (2007-08), as well as a silver medal in 2009-10. He was part of four Canada West championship teams (2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11), and in his final season, he was named the Canada West MVP and a CIS first team all-Canadian after leading the conference in scoring.
He becomes the 10th Golden Bear to sign a North American professional hockey contract in the last 11 years, following Eric Hunter (2011 - Lake Erie Monsters), Jesse Gimblett (2010 – Springfield Falcons), Aaron Sorochan (2009 – Springfield Falcons), Harlan Anderson (2009 – Springfield Falcons), Ben Thomson (2007 – Houston Aeros), Chris Ovington (2006 – Houston Aeros), Ryan Wade (2004 - Houston Aeros) and Kevin Marsh (2004 – Houston Aeros).
Other Golden Bears to have gone pro recently are Ben Lindemulder (ECHL), Ian Barteaux (ECHL), Colin Joe (ECHL), Sean Ringrose (Europe), Greg Gardner (ECHL), Tyler Metcalfe (Europe) and Zack Dailey (ECHL).