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Fri 30 Jun 2023 - 1:45PM



The Nottingham Panthers have added to their roster with the signing of American defenceman Jake Ryczek.

Ryczek, who has played in North America and Europe, was selected in the seventh round of the NHL Draft in 2016 by Chicago Blackhawks.

The 25-year-old turned professional in 2019-20, scoring 17 points (4+13) for Indy Fuel in 46 matches in the East Coast Hockey League.

In 2021-22, he moved onto Adirondack Thunder and added 25 points (6+19) before splitting his time across three clubs last season.

He appeared 19 times for Adirondack in the ECHL but also had a three-game call-up to American Hockey League side Springfield Thunderbirds.

The blueliner made a mid-season move to Europe to play in the Slovakian top flight with HC Banska Bystrica, helping them reach the playoffs.

Panthers Head Coach, Jonathan Paredes, said: "Jake is a very talented skater and his mobility is probably one his biggest strengths.

"His skating ability allows him to be able to be active in the rush but also close down quick on the opposition. He is another player we feel has great years ahead of him."

Ryczek added: "I have a few friends who play in the league, Pete Crinella, Jeff Baum and Matt Foley, and I reached out to them and they gave nothing but good feedback.

"All I heard is great things about the city and the fans, so I am really looking forward to that. I love playing in front of big crowds, that's the best thing about hockey.

"I consider myself as a two-way defenceman. I play quick and like to use my feet a lot. I want to use my speed in the UK.

"I had a chat with Jonathan (Paredes) and I am totally behind what he wants to do with the team this year and I am really excited about it."

Player sponsorship packages are available for the 2023-24 season. Please contact sarah@panthers.co.uk for further information.

Signing news brought to you in association with 2fawcett Recruitment.

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