The Wichita Thunder announced two more signings for the coming season on Tuesday. Coming to Wichita will be defensemen Ryan Ruikka and Andrew Blazek.
Ruikka comes to Wichita as a highly-regarded defenseman who played his college hockey at Boston University, winning the NCAA Frozen Four in 2009. In 97 career games for the Terriers, he collected 19 points (4G, 15A.)
“Ryan had a solid career in arguably the best conference in NCAA hockey and has spent the last two years overseas. I know he is excited to get back to the US,” said Thunder head coach Kevin McClelland.
From Boston, Ruikka played two seasons with TUTO hockey in the Finland2 league. There, he collected 16 points in 42 games, plus earned a bronze medal last season.
“I’m really excited to play back in the USA and looking forward to a great season in Wichita,” stated Ruikka.
The second defenseman announced is Andrew Blazek, who is entering his first full season in the ECHL. Last year with the Cincinnati Cyclones and South Carolina Stingrays, Blazek appeared in 26 regular season and playoff games. He also spent time with the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League.
Prior to turning pro, Blazek played four years at Robert Morris University totaling 51 points (17g, 34a) in 129 games.
“I’ve heard some great things about Coach McClelland, the Thunder Organization, and the city of Wichita,” said Blazek. “ I’m thankful for the chance to get out there and contribute.”
Blazek and Ruikka join Kenton Miller, Todd Hosmer, Timothy Boyle and Anthony De Luca as players announced for next season.