At just 25 years of age, Anaheim Ducks forward Bobby Ryan has a number of accomplishments under his belt, including an Olympic silver medal in 2010 and, prior to that, numerous Ontario Hockey League rookie honors during his time with the Owen Sound Attack.
The New Jersey native originally had no plans to play major junior hockey, and initially committed to play for the United States National Under-18 team. However, that all changed when the Owen Sound Attack selected Ryan seventh overall in the 2003 OHL Selection Draft.
It took a bit of convincing, but it was in Owen Sound where Ryan would make his debut later that year, playing his first game on September 17, 2003 in a 1-0 win over the Barrie Colts. He’d score his first goal in the Ontario Hockey League in just his second game played – a game in which he’d actually score twice and add an assist for a plus-3 rating. The game ended in a 6-6 tie with the Belleville Bulls.
Ryan ended his rookie season with 22 goals and 17 assists in 65 games played. His 39 points and 52 penalty minutes were respectable numbers for the 16-year-old, and he was named to the second all-rookie team, but it was his sophomore year that would get him noticed.
His point production drastically increased, as the forward scored 37 goals and 52 assists for 89 points in 62 games. He also added two goals and seven assists in eight playoff games before being drafted by the NHL’s Mighty Ducks of Anaheim with the second overall selection in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, just behind Sidney Crosby. He was also named to the second OHL all-star team for that season.
The 2005-06 season would once again be even better, as Ryan scored 95 points (31-64) in 59 regular season games and 12 points in 11 playoff games. Once again, his point production would go up again for his final full season with Owen Sound, as Ryan scored 43 goals and 59 assists for 102 points in 63 games played during the 2006-07 season.
That year also saw him play for Team USA in the World Juniors, earning a fourth place finish with the national team.
It was at the end of that season that Ryan would make his regular season AHL debut, as he joined the Portland Pirates for eight games, scoring three goals and six assists. His OHL career ended with 133 goals, 192 assists and 325 points in 248 games played, all with the Owen Sound Attack.
A handful of impressive OHL seasons, combined with a strong performance in his short AHL experience, led him to make the opening night roster for the Ducks at the start of the 2007-08 season.
Ryan’s NHL debut was a unique one, as his first game with the Ducks was played overseas in London, England. It was during that game, on September 29, 2007, that Ryan would also score his first NHL goal.
He returned to Portland after four games and spent the majority of the season with the Pirates, scoring 21 goals and 28 assists in 48 games. He was up and down with Anaheim and scored his first NHL goal in North America against the San Jose Sharks on December 16, 2007, earning 10 points in 23 games with the Ducks over that year.
The young forward’s sophomore NHL season started off the same as his rookie year, as Ryan made the opening night roster once again. However, he was eventually sent down to the Iowa Chops of the AHL, where he played 14 games and scored nine goals and 10 assists. Despite the AHL time, he did spend the majority of the year with Anaheim, scoring 31 goals and adding 26 assists in 64 games.
That year also included his first NHL hat trick, scored on January 8, 2009. This was the fastest by any player in franchise history. It was after that season that Ryan began really getting noticed in the NHL, as he was nominated as a finalist for the Calder Trophy, eventually losing out to goaltender Steve Mason.
With an NHL roster spot pretty much secured for the 2009-10 season, Ryan scored 64 points in 81 games in first full season in the league. He also played for Team USA at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, where he scored a goal and an assist and won a silver medal on a team that included Patrick Kane and Ryan Miller.
He went on to score 71 points in 82 games during the 2010-11 season, and had a 57-point performance last year in 82 games. Overall, he’s scored 259 points in 332 NHL games so far… and he’s only 25 years old, sure to have a bright future ahead.