The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars are excited to confirm the signing of American defenseman, Ryan Verrier for the 2022-2023 Elite League campaign.

The 23-year-old blueliner joins the Stars from the University of New Hampshire, who play in the top division of the NCAA and through four years with the Wildcats, he totalled 23 points (5G, 18A) in 116 appearances.  

In his final year with UNH, Verrier was appointed as an alternate captain and helped the team to reach the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons. 

Ryan also made eight appearances for Worcester Railers at the end of last season, as he made his professional debut and recorded one assist during his brief time in the East Coast Hockey League. 

Born in Reading, Massachusetts, the defender played his way through the American prep and junior leagues before committing to the Wildcats. 

Back in 2012, his career started with the Valley Jr. Warriors, before he moved on to spend three seasons with Austin Prep in the Massachusetts High School League. 

Weighing in at 185lbs, the left-handed defender led his team in scoring in his final year at Austin, with 27 points (11G, 16A) in 22 games and then spent the following campaign splitting his time between Mid Fairfield Rangers U18 side and Salisbury Prep, where he totalled 49 points (17G, 32A) from 62 appearances.  

The American then spent a full season with the Green Bay Gamblers in the United States Hockey League, posting up 18 points (4G, 14A) in 58 matches before beginning his college career the following autumn. 

 

Picture: University of New Hampshire Athletics.

 

After completing the deal to bring Verrier to Dundee, Stars General Manager and Head Coach, Jeff Mason delightedly said: “I am delighted to get Ryan on board, he is a player that came very highly recommended by his college coaches. 

“I spoke to both his head coach and assistant coach, and they were both very high on him and he fit the bill of what I was looking for. 

“He also played on the big ice at the University of New Hampshire and from watching him and looking at the reports, he is a guy that skates well and angles himself well on the big ice.” 

Jeff continued: “I connected to Ryan through my friend and ex-teammate from Belfast, Steve Saviano, who is friends with his family and he had only great things to say about him. 

“Savi, who is a guy that I trust a lot and is just an incredible human, he spoke very highly of them and Ryan, so his opinion goes a long way in my book and it was certainly something that made me feel even more confident that Ryan was the right player for us. 

“So, I believe he is a player that will be very steady for us on the backend, who can log a lot of minutes, can play in any situation and will be someone who we can depend on. 

“He comes with the pedigree of playing at the University of New Hampshire and in the Hockey East Conference, which is one of the top leagues in NCAA and he has had a bit of success there and I believe he will fit perfectly into what we are trying to do.” 

“So, it really ticked all the right boxes for me of someone who has a lot of potential and is very hungry and is excited about this opportunity. 

Discussing the quality of players that the NCAA produces and the process of making the step up to the professional leagues, the Stars boss added: “I have an extensive knowledge of the NCAA and especially the Hockey East Conference and I have a lot of connections within university hockey in the USA. 

“I know the level quite well and how those players are prepared, but taking players straight out of the NCAA still comes with a bit of risk as they are younger players. 

“However, there is always that feeling out period and growing pains as players step into the pro-game and even though they are technically rookies, they have a lot of experience in a very high-level league, where a lot is expected of them. 

“So, there may be a bit of an adjustment period coming to the pros but I am confident a guy like Ryan will be able to get past that quickly and those eight games he played with Worcester in the ECHL last season, gave him a taste of it and a chance to see how the pro game is played, so that will definitely benefit him as well.” 

 

Picture: University of New Hampshire Athletics.

 

Once he signed his first full professional contract, an excited Ryan said: “I am very happy to be joining the Stars, it has always been an interest of mine to play in Europe and I know the level of hockey is very competitive. 

“Living in the USA my whole life means this will definitely be a good experience for myself to go out and see the world and experience something new, so I am very excited about it and I have heard Dundee is a great place to live too. 

“I am really happy with the opportunity Dundee has given me.” 

Ryan then explained why he choose to move into the European leagues and what type of game he will bring to Dundee. 

He said: “So, I played at UNH in the Division 1 program and a lot of guys that I have known, that have come before me from that team went on to play in Europe for 10 to 15 years and I was talking to a bunch of them and found interest in how much they said they enjoyed it and I thought if I was given the opportunity, I should jump on it.” 

Verrier continued: “My game developed quite a lot over the past four years in college as a two-way defenseman and I definitely grew up being more on the offensive side. 

“Although, when I got to college, my coaches made a strong point of, that you have to be able to play defence before you can jump up the ice, so for four years I have been focused on taking care of the defensive side of things and I have turned in to a strong defenseman.

“But obviously I kept my ability to jump up the ice and push the pace, so it is definitely a two-way game and it is something I hope to bring to the Stars blueline next season.” 

 

Picture: University of New Hampshire Athletics.

 

Verrier then revealed how Mason was able to convince him that Dundee was the right move for his career. 

He said: “Jeff played at Providence College when he was younger and he talked about how the city is a great place to live, the experiences I can have and how it is a great development spot for players. 

“I know he is going to be a great coach that really helps his players develop, but not only does he want to see his players in Dundee win, he also wants them to succeed in their own careers as well.” 

The 23-year-old then reflected on his short stint in the ECHL and how it helped prepare him for his first full professional season. 

Ryan commented: “It helps a lot and it all counts towards the experience of being a pro, in terms of travel-wise and practice and playing. 

“It takes you up another level from college because division one college in the USA, especially the league I played in, it is very sought after and a lot of people I play against jump into the NHL or AHL after our season ends. 

“So, jumping into the Coast, it was a little bit similar but gaining the experience of being a pro and learning that this is your job now and doing anything you can to help the team win, was great.” 

Finally, Ryan shared a message for the Stars fans and he said; “I am really excited to play for you all. 

“I have heard that the fans over there are similar to the ones in college hockey, where they are loud, crazy and have a huge supporters group and that makes it a fun place to play. 

“So, I am really excited to play in front of you and ready to bring home a championship to Dundee!” 

 

Picture: New England Hockey Journal.

 

In his career so far, Verrier has featured in 321 matches, scored 39 goals, assisted 87 times, and has collected 205 penalty minutes. 

Ryan is our 11th signing of the summer and joins Drydn Dow, Craig Garrigan, Philippe Sanche, Chris Gerrie, Brython Preece, Mac Howlett, Toms Rutkis, Kris Inglis, Carter Folk and Elijiah Barriga on the roster for next season. 

You can get your season tickets to watch these 11 players and the rest of the team in the 2022-2023 campaign by contacting: [email protected] 

Verrier will wear the #3 Stars jersey next season. 

To view Ryan’s career stats on Elite Prospects click HERE. 

 

Picture: University of New Hampshire Athletics.

 

Featured image: University of New Hampshire Athletics.

Banner Image: University of New Hampshire Athletics.

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Trade-Mart Dundee Stars Team
34 Games
9 Wins
21 Losses
4 OT Losses
22 Points