Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A Hitman for the Terriers

BU has received a verbal commitment for 2008 from Jersey Hitman (EJHL) defenseman Ryan Ruikka, who joins NTDP U18 blueliner David Warsofsky in the next recruit class. Ruikka, a 6’0”, 180-lb right-shot defenseman from Chelsea, Mich., played on the top blueline pair for the Hitmen, who finished first in the EJHL’s Southern Division and tied for the league’s top record. He finished the regular season with a 5-25-30 line and 60 PIMs and played in the league’s all-star game. “More importantly,” according to the EJHL report, “the defensive-minded defenseman ended the regular season with a +35 rating.”

Ruikka, who made the Michigan High School “Dream Team” as a senior in 2006, played in the USHL during the 2006-2007 season. Ironically, he was traded from the Lincoln Stars to the Des Moines Bucs just a few weeks after Colby Cohen had joined the Stars.

Following his USHL season, a USHL blog described him as a defenseman who “won't put up the big points or make the flashy play, but he will do his job and that's to keep the puck away from his goalie.”

Ruikka attracted attention in the past two Beantown Summer Classic events.

Another Hitman defenseman, Kevin Clare, is regarded as one of top blueline prospects in the East for 2010. Clare, who USHR reported has visited both BU and BC and also is interested in Michigan and Notre Dame, is from New Rochelle, N.Y., hometown of BU freshman Kevin Shattenkirk.

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