|Allen Defenseman John Ryder|
The Allen Americans recently signed third year professional John Ryder for the upcoming season. Ryder, who is from Colorado Springs, Colorado played college hockey at the University of Denver. Last year he split time between the Colorado Eagles and Ontario Reign of the ECHL.
Ryder is a stay at home defenseman who has been described as a big time check waiting to happen, who has perfected unpenalized checks on the puck carrier in the neutral zone or inside the blue line to the point you pay attention to him as if he was the best offensive player on the ice. He led the University of Denver in each of his last three seasons, racking up 802 hits in 102 games from 2009-2012. He recorded over 1000 hits in his college career.
The 25 year old, who majored in fiance and management, was named to the All-WCHA Academic Team for four consecutive years (2008-2012) while at the University of Denver.
John was kind enough to answer some get to know you questions.
Can you tell us a little about your family?
- My parents names are Rick and Paula, my father is an engineer and my mother was a nurse. I have one sister named Melissa. She is a special education teacher that specializes in autism. Melissa got all the good qualities in the family. She's married to a guy named Mike and they have a two year old son named Logan who is just a little stud, and have a little girl on the way.
|John with his nephew Logan from April 2013|
Did you have a pet growing up?
- I had a Shelty named Lady growing up, and also had a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever named Ollie.
Where are you spending the summer?
- I spent most of the summer in Ohio, working out and enjoying the weather with my billet family from junior hockey.
Describe your training regimen?
- I've been working out 5-6 days a week most of the summer, skating a few times a week.
What is your favorite number? Do you know what number you will have with Allen?
- My favorite number is 24. I received it when I came to Denver University my freshman year and it just grew on me. Then I was able to have that last year in Colorado and its always kind of been my number since college. I'm not sure what number I will be wearing in Allen.
What is your nickname?
- Either Rydes or Gurwell which is my mom's maiden name. I actually have a hyphenated last name with Gurwell in it.
Who is your hockey hero?
- Even though he was a goalie I was always a fan of Patrick Roy. The passion and fire that he played every game with and now its the same way when he coaches. It always drew me to him.
What is your earliest hockey memory?
- My earliest hockey memory is of when we had a small rink in our backyard the winter of 1991 (it was unusually cold in Colorado) I remember going out the back door early without my parents in the morning to go skate.
At what age did you started skating?
- I was 2. The Summer of 1991
Can you describe your style of play?
- I'm a stay at home defenseman who plays an extremely physical game. I like to shut down the other team and stick up for my teammates.
Who is your favorite actor and actress?
- I'm a big fan of Russell Crowe and Jennifer Aniston.
What is your favorite type of music?
- My favorite type of music is country music. I also have been listening to a little alternative music lately, like Mumford and Sons.
What is your current favorite singer or group?
- Right now I would have to say I've been listening to a lot of Jake Owen.
What is a song or artist you hope your teammates don't catch you listening to?
- Brave by Sara Bareilles. Kevin Ulanski caught me listening to that song last year and it became kind of a running joke in Colorado.
What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
- I'm a big reader. I read a book about every 2-3 days.
What chore do you absolutely hate to do?
- My least favorite thing to do is empty the dishwasher.
What do you have that is of great value to you but little value to anyone else?
- My grandfather's US Navy manual from when he entered the service in the Korean War in 1950.
Who do you admire as a leader?
- Peyton Manning, his ability to stay calm in any situation as well as his intense preparation for a game is something that is contagious and magnetic to anyone who hears about it.
Where is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
- Lake Louise, just north of Banff, Alberta. It is beautiful during the summer and I was amazed by the clarity of water along with the mountains in the backdrop.
If you could live in another country for two years where would you pick?
- It would probably have to be Italy. There is 5,000 years of history that is still visible. Along with the Vatican and Ancient Rome. I could spend the whole time exploring all of Italy's history.
If you could be anything besides a pro hockey player what would it be?
- It would probably have to be either a country singer or an investment banker.
Do you have any pre-game routines, rituals or superstitions?
- No, I just try to stay as loose as I can and not think too much about the game.
Who is your number one fan?
- My father is my number one fan. He has taken me everywhere and has always been willing to listen to me about hockey or give me advice on anything from hockey to life.
What do you like to do to kill time on the bus?
- I mostly read on the bus.
What was your favorite childhood toy?
- A metal toy dump truck
What is your favorite TV show?
- How I Met Your Mother
If you could choose someone as a mentor who would you choose?
- Honestly I would have to say that I have my mentor in my father. He's a great man. He raised me with honor and integrity in every facet of life and I am truly lucky to grow up around such a great man.
Do you know anyone on the Allen team?
- I played with Kevin Young last year in Colorado.
When will you arrive in Allen?
- Sometime in the first week of October.
What do you like to do away from the rink?
- I like outdoors activities such as hiking, fishing, golf, and tennis and I have already mentioned how much I like to read.
What have you been told or know about the Allen fans?
- I've heard they are some of the best in pro hockey. I'm excited to play in front of them.
How did you get to Allen?
- I had spoken to coach Martinson in the past few years and he approached me this summer and after talking to him and my agent I really felt that this was the place that I am supposed to be.
Here are John's statistics courtesy of Hockeydb:
Defense -- shoots L
Born Mar 6 1989 -- Colorado Springs, CO
[25 yrs. ago]
Height 6.00 -- Weight 200