The Carolina Hurricanes have added even more experience to their deep blue line. The team has announced a one-year, two-way deal with Joakim Ryan, who has played in nearly 150 NHL games over the past three seasons. The deal carries the minimum $700K NHL salary, making him an affordable option in a pinch, and a $150K salary in the AHL.
Ryan, 27, is a balanced defenseman who can step into the lineup without issues. A mobile blue liner, Ryan does not produce many points but moves the puck well. Similarly, he does not put up big defensive numbers, but is a sound defender. While his role with the San Jose Sharks in his first two NHL seasons was limited, Ryan played over 19 minutes per games last season with the Los Angeles Kings, albeit only in 35 games.
Ryan has not played in the AHL in the past two seasons and spend only two games in the minors the year prior, but that is likely set to change in Carolina. Ryan’s two-way contract combined with the Hurricanes’ depth implies that Ryan could be the next man up in the minors, rather than a full-time NHLer. As of right now, Jaccob Slavin, Dougie Hamilton, Brett Pesce, Brady Skjei, Jake Gardiner, and RFA Haydn Fleury are locked in for roster spots while Jake Bean could push for a role, and you can never quite rule out the ’Canes acquiring another defenseman as well. Ryan seems like the odd man out, but is a quality option when injuries occur.