According to news reports overnight, Charlotte Checkers forward and Carolina Hurricanes prospect Derek Ryan has been looking into taking his promising talent to the European hockey leagues.
According to SwissHockeyNews, and the Swedish newspaper Expressen, the 5’11”, 170lb centerman, who played in the Austrian and Swedish leagues before attempting a leap to the North American game last season, is interested in opportunities in the Russian and Swiss leagues for next season.
[quote_box_center author=”Derek Ryan, Charlotte Checkers, to Expressen“]At first, I considered a return to Sweden, but my agent advised me that Switzerland would be a better option for this stage of my career. I haven’t played there before but have only heard positive things[/quote_box_center]
Ryan and his agent, according to the Expressen report, have been in communications with a number of Swedish hockey teams, and have even received an offer from Frolunda, but the 29-year-old forward prefers to focus on the opportunities in Switzerland.
“I prefer Switzerland if I’m going back to Europe. I have not played there, I have heard very good things about it and the money is a little better,” he told the newspaper.
Ryan’s one-year, two-way contract with the Hurricanes is set to expire mid-June. He had a couple of chances this past season to play with the Hurricanes, as the team struggled with injuries and trades, and head coach Bill Peters auditioned many Checkers players for NHL talent.
During his six games with the big team he tallied two goals, two penalty minutes, and a +1 rating. The rest of the season with the Checkers saw him post 23 goals and 32 assists in 70 games.
Ryan made a splash in his NHL debut for the Hurricanes on March 1st of last year. Playing on the power play in his very first NHL game against the New Jersey Devils, he rifled a shot past Cory Schneider to tie the game and earn his first NHL goal.
His goal, his back-story of a hard-working, NHL-dreaming, journeyman, and his reaction to scoring his first NHL goal, instantly made him a Caniac favorite. Unfortunately, the depth and youth of the Hurricanes current roster and prospect pool may be contributing to Ryan’s interest in the European leagues. Stay tuned for more news and information.