Colorado Springs native John Ryder will be playing professionally closer to home. The former Denver captain signed a one-year contract with the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles in Windsor, the team announced on Tuesday.
The 6-foot, 200-pound defenseman skated in 142 games with the Pioneers, posting 22 points and finishing his collegiate career with a cumulative plus-29 rating. Ryder played 45 games (five points) in an injury-shortened 2012-13 season with the Idaho Steelheads after signing a one-year contract with the American Hockey League’s Texas Stars, which sent Ryder down to its ECHL affiliate.
“John had a tremendous career with DU and we were always impressed with his performance during his time in the ECHL,” said Eagles president and general manager Chris Stewart. “We expect him to be a very reliable player on the back-end and he will also be a guy that will bring a very physical brand of hockey to the ice every single night.”
“Playing at the Budweiser Events Center as a member of the visiting team, the atmosphere was always so incredible,” Ryder said. “The Eagles have always had really good teams, so it was never fun to have to play against them. Now that I’m with them, hopefully it will be even less fun for other teams to have to play us.”
He joins former Tigers defenseman Arthur Bidwill, who recently re-signed with the team, which plays in the Budweiser Events Center.