By Kris Smith
The centerman from Helsinki joined the Stars in 2012 from fellow Elite League side, Nottingham Panthers, who he moved to after leaving Danish club, AaB Ishockey midseason.
Ryhanen came to the Stars with 17 years of experience in European ice hockey and had previously played in the top leagues of nine countries.
The Fin had came through the youth system of his hometown club, Helsinki and made his first move away from Finland in the 2000-2001 season as he joined Strasbourg in the French second division.
Before signing with the Stars, Sami had also played for a long list of clubs, which included; Clermont (France), Halmstad Hammers (Sweden), Stjernen (Norway), HC Innsbruck (Austria), Tappara (Finland), Olimppija Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Ritten/Renon (Italy).
The forward was only in Tayside for one season but definitely left his mark as one of the all-time greats to ever call the Dundee Ice Arena home.
In the 2012-2013 season, Ryhanen played in 51 Elite League matches, made 10 Challenge Cup appearances and racked up a total of 101 points.
At the end of the season, the then 33-year-old was selected to be in the EIHL’s Second All-Star Team and had the most assists in the league with 60.
The 2012-2013 campaign was also a career best for Sami as he scored 86 points in the regular season.
Since leaving Dundee, Ryhanen went on to play in Germany’s DEL2 for a year with ESV Kaufbeuren and then he spent the following season in Italy with Fassa.
However, Sami made a return to Britain in 2015 as he signed with Swindon Wildcats in the English Premier League but after 13 games, he moved back to Finland and seen out the rest of his career in his homeland.
He played his final professional season in 2016-2017, making seven appearances for Hunters in the Suomi-sarja league.
Then, after a 22-year-playing career, Sami took up coaching and was also the Assistant Coach for Hunters in the 2016-2017 campaign.
After two years as an assistant coach, Ryhanen was then promoted to Head Coach for the 2018-2019 season and the following year, he moved to his current team, Jokerit, where he was the Under 18’s Assistant Coach last season and now he is the current number two for the Under 20’s side.
Next-up in our ‘Look Back’ series we will be bringing you a special Stats of the Stars for the 2012-2013 season and it will be available here at 12pm tomorrow.
If you want to be a part of the historic 20th Dundee Stars season then you can buy your season tickets by contacting [email protected]