Derek Ryan, the journeyman that garnered headlines last season for making his NHL debut at age 29, is reportedly considering a move back to Europe — Switzerland, specifically.
In an interview with Swedish news outlet Expressen, Ryan and his agent have discussed the possibility of signing in the Swiss National League “A” should he not receive an NHL contract for next season.
Ryan scored two goals in six games for the ‘Canes last year. Prior to that, he was something of a hockey nomad.
He played junior in WHL Spokane — where his head coach was current Carolina bench boss Bill Peters — then had stops in Kalamazoo (of the now-defunct United Hockey League), a four-year stint at the University of Alberta, three years in the Austrian League and, in ’14-15, a terrific campaign in Sweden.
With Orebro, Ryan scored a whopping 80 points in 55 games en route to capturing SHL Forward of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards.
He parlayed that into a one-year, two-way deal with the ‘Canes.
Ryan spent most of last year in AHL Charlotte (55 points in 70 games) and while he was a nice story, it’s worth mentioning his NHL debut only came after the ‘Canes whittled away their roster at the deadline, shipping out Eric Staal, Kris Versteeg and John-Michael Liles.
As such, it’s fair to suggest Ryan — who turns 30 in December — might not be in Carolina’s future plans.