Name: Michael Ryan
Weight: 191 lbs.
birth date: 5-16-1980
hometown: Milton, Massachusetts
acquired: traded from Dallas for Stu Barnes on March 10, 2003
Michael Ryan played four seasons with Northeastern University before making his professional debut with the Rochester Americans in 2003. In his four seasons at Northeastern his best was his junior year when he had 24 goals and 15 assists for 39 points in 36 games. Ryan never seemed to reach his potential until the 2006-2007 season when he had career highs in goals and assists with 28 goals and 23 assists for 51 points in 50 games.
Ryan appears ready to take the next jump to the NHL after playing 19 games last season with the Buffalo Sabres. His strength is his versatility to play both left wing and center. The Buffalo Sabres lack depth at both positions so Ryan should fit in nicely. Ryan needs to play a more consistent physical game in order to become an everyday NHL player.
2006-2007 Buffalo Sabres: 19GP-3G-2A-5P
2006-2007 Rochester Americans: 50GP-28G-23A-51P
After being signed to a one year contract by the Buffalo Sabres, he should have every opportunity to stay with the Sabres for the entire season. At the age of 27 it's now or never for Ryan to become an everyday NHL player.
My take on Michael Ryan is simple. I thought he played fairly well in his 19 games in Buffalo. He seemed to always be around the net but lacked the ability (or maybe confidence) to finish. He proved in Rochester that he had that ability so he needs that to translate to the NHL this season. If he can gain the ability to finish I see him being able to contribute at a high level.
note: This is the first of many player profiles throughout the summer. If there is anything you think I should add to the profiles feel free to leave me a note in the comments or e-mail me.