Derek Ryan: 2016-17 Carolina Hurricanes report card

Derek Ryan: 2016-17 Carolina Hurricanes report card

For anyone catching up, a menu of previous player (and also coaching and GM) report cards can be found at the bottom of the article. Derek Ryan’s starting point for the 2016-17 season Prior to the start of the 2015-16, Derek Ryan was signed to a two-way contract with the Carolina Hurricanes after an impressive 2014-15 campaign in Europe that saw Ryan lead the Swedish Hockey League in scoring and win the most valuable player award. As an undersized, 28-year old who had taken a circuitous route back to North America and within reach of the NHL, he represented good veteran offense for the AHL level and wild card for the NHL. He spent the 2015-16 primarily at the AHL level and had a solid though maybe not spectacular season with 55 points in 70 games for the Charlotte Checkers. His recall and short stint with the Hurricanes in March of 2016 was a great story and became even better when he scored a goal in his first NHL game at the age of 29. In his short run of 6 games in the NHL at the end of the 2015-16 season, Ryan collected 2 goals (and no assists). He did not look out of place, but he did not so much make a huge statement that suggested he was a can’t miss for the 2016-17 season.   Derek Ryan’s 2016-17 season with the Carolina Hurricanes Ryan entered training camp before the 2016-17 season as one of a few dark horses with the potential to compete for one of the final opening day roster spots. With the free agent...
The emergence of Derek Ryan

The emergence of Derek Ryan

Derek Ryan gets his chance as part of a shake up Derek Ryan along with Brock McGinn and Matt Tennyson were recalled from the AHL after a lackluster home loss on November 10 and prior to the next game on November 12. At the time, the Hurricanes were sputtering a bit with 3 consecutive losses (1 of the shootout variety) and were struggling to score goals. The team had failed to score more than 2 goals in each of the 5 previous games. The move had an element of trying to boost scoring with help. At the time of the recall, Derek Ryan and Brock McGinn were red hot. Derek Ryan had 5 goals and assists in 9 games, and Brock McGinn had 5 goals in 3 assists also in 9 games. I think the move also had an element of trying to shake up the existing Hurricanes roster with the hope of getting more from the core group. It was after a similar 3-player AHL call up in early December of 2015 that the 2015-16 Carolina Hurricanes found a higher gear and started to win. So Derek Ryan entered the lineup with the potential to provide a boost offensively but at a minimum in the role of a lightning rod to try to jolt the rest of the team.   Derek Ryan’s quiet start Ryan’s run at the NHL level started quietly. He was not bad and did not stand out negatively on the defensive side of the puck, but he did not produce much initially either. Not until his fifth game did he pick up a scoring...
First impressions on Derek Ryan

First impressions on Derek Ryan

Today Derek Ryan and Brock McGinn were sent back to Charlotte. That leaves only 11 healthy forwards on the Canes roster which means we can expect at least 1 forward to be recalled from Charlotte before Tuesday’s game. I also think it is important not to read too much into the return of McGinn and Ryan to Charlotte as far as evaluations. It will be interesting to see how Francis plays the season out. On the 1 hand, he wants to evaluate a few players. On the other hand, the Checkers are still competing to get into the playoffs but need to refind a higher gear to get there. The latest player to get a first look playing at the NHL level during the regular season is Derek Ryan. He notched a power play goal in his first game and logged about 27 minutes of total ice time in 2 games. I entered this short stint with a reasonably impression of Ryan’s game from his run deep into the preseason and the scrimmages and games from that time period. But here are my initial impressions from his first 2 games in the NHL during the regular season: * His instincts and ability to read situations in the offensive zone with and without the puck are a strong point. I originally pictured him as more of a pure play maker, but Ryan plays equally well without the puck on offense finding openings and being ready to shoot when the puck arrives. * He still needs work on his defensive play in his own end. Center is the hardest of the...
Checkers: Derek Ryan profile + Start to western road trip

Checkers: Derek Ryan profile + Start to western road trip

Derek Ryan The Charlotte Checkers have had one consistent presence on the ice so far this season. That presence has been first year Checker Derek Ryan. Ryan has twenty-eight points for the Checkers in twenty-nine games, and is tied for fourth in AHL scoring. On top of that Ryan has shown enough leadership for the Checkers coaching staff to make him the captain of the team. Ryan came to the Checkers from the Swedish Hockey League where he played one season and led his team in points. Before he played in the Swedish league Ryan played in the Austrian Hockey League collecting one hundred and ninety-nine points in one hundred and fifty-eight games. When he is on the ice Ryan leads by example with his play, making him comparable to former Hurricanes captain Rod Brind’Amour, who also let his play do his talking for him. Ryan is not the flashiest player, but he puts up points almost every single game he plays which is similar to Brind’Amour. Unfortunately for Ryan he is twenty-nine years old and his time for an NHL call up might be running out. Not only is Ryan maybe getting to old to for the Hurricanes to want to call him up, but they might not want to call him up because he is a good leader for the young prospects down in Charlotte to learn from because he is a veteran of the game. Hopefully for Ryan he will be called up soon to play his first regular season game in the NHL. NOTE: Regular update is a bit delayed (Matt’s fault) and covers games...
Is Derek Ryan the wild card?

Is Derek Ryan the wild card?

Right now the Carolina Hurricanes are sitting on two open roster spots at forward (assuming the team carries 13).  While there is a decent chance that Ron Francis will ultimately add one more forward maybe right when the final closeout sale will occur, there should be an open competition for one or more forward spots. There really are no sure things to claim a spot or even a pure front-runner.  Zach Boychuk who I wrote about in yesterday’s Daily Cup of Joe which you can find here, has the most NHL experience (almost the only NHL experience).  There are multiple other younger players possibly led by Brock McGinn who just completed his first season at the AHL level.  But there really is no incumbent or expected winner. Enter Derek Ryan.  He is a bit of an odd entry.  He is 28-year old rookie who has not played hockey in North America in years.  He worked his way up from some pretty low ranks step by step.  Last season he led the Swedish Hockey League in scoring.  He is smallish at 5-10 170, but is reported to be a skilled playmaker.  A meaningful side note is that he played hockey for two years for Bill Peters many years ago in the WHL. Odds are that someone like Ryan would need some time to acclimate himself to the North American game and NHL competition which would suggest that he is destined for Charlotte.  But a couple things make his situation interesting to watch in September: 1) There is clearly an unclaimed opening or two at forward to be won in September. 2) I...