The Mooseheads are about to have some added impact on defense with the addition of Chicago Blackhawks draft pick Jake Ryczek. The 19-year-old Ludlow, Massachusetts native has left Providence College and will join his new teammates in Halifax this week.
“We’re extremely pleased to add a player with the skill and ability that Jake possesses. He is offensively talented and gives us a second NHL drafted defenceman,” said General Manager Cam Russell.
The rights to Ryczek were acquired in a December 20th trade with Acadie-Bathurst that also netted a 2018 third round pick in exchange for a 2018 first round pick. The Titan originally drafted Ryczek in the sixth round of the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft. The 5-foot-10, 181 pound American decided to stay stateside and played three full seasons in the USHL split between Sioux City and Waterloo where he became a prolific point producer from the back end. Ryczek netted 81 points in 152 games played which included 21 goals and 60 assists. He also added 120 penalty minutes and maintained a +13 rating. His eight goals in 2016-17 were the most by a defenceman in the entire USHL. Ryczek started this season with Providence College, appearing in five games and scoring one goal.
His 34 points in 47 games as a 17-year-old in 2015-16 prompted the Blackhawks to use their seventh round pick (203rd overall) on him in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
The arrival of Ryczek in Halifax gives the Mooseheads nine defencemen on the roster. When he will suit up for his first game is yet to be determined. The QMJHL trade period ends on Saturday, January 6th at Noon Eastern.
Halifax returns to home ice tomorrow night when the Mooseheads entertain the Charlottetown Islanders at 7pm. The rivalry with Cape Breton picks back up with the Hurley Cup on Saturday at 2pm and will wrap up on New Year’s Eve in Sydney. Tickets are on sale now at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office, select Superstore Outlets, TicketAtlantic.com, the Official Mooseheads Shop in Scotia Square or call 451-1221.