Ryan's star rising

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 6:53 AM ET

It's taken some time, but Bobby Ryan is turning into the player the Anaheim Ducks envisioned when they selected him second behind Sidney Crosby in the 2005 Entry Draft.

In his first season with the Ducks, the native of Cherry Hill, N.J., led all NHL rookies with 26 goals heading into last night's contest against the Edmonton Oilers.

"He made our team out of training camp, but we didn't have enough room with the salary cap to keep him on the roster," said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle.

"Then when he did come into the lineup through the injury to (Francois) Beauchemin, we put him right with (Ryan) Getzlaf and (Corey) Perry, but I didn't think that was the right move.

"I think we rushed him into that situation. We firmly believed he could play in the NHL; it was just a matter of when, and how high he could play in our lineup."

Ryan, 22, a former junior star with the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League, started the year in the minors before getting called up to the parent club.

Ryan took over for Beauchemin, who blew out his knee, and has recently been placed back on the Ducks' top line with Getzlaf and Perry.

"They make your job a little bit easier," Ryan said of his linemates. "Your ice time goes up and the more ice time you get, the more comfortable you become. You know Getzy is going to find you when you get open, and you're going to get opportunities."

Heading into last night, Ryan had 50 points in 58 games. He should garner some consideration for rookie of the year honours this season.

"It's been a little bit of whirlwind year, but it's fun now," Ryan said.

"It's also tough to come up because a guy gets hurt. But I'm enjoying it and I'm trying to take it all in stride."

DEREK.VANDIEST@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos