Updated:ORLANDO, Fla. —
The Orlando Solar Bears announced today that they have agreed to terms with forward Ryan Cruthers. He becomes the first player to join the Solar Bears.
"It's an honor to join the Solar Bears and I can't wait to get on the ice in Orlando," said Cruthers.
A native of Farmington, NY, Cruthers (6'0'', 194lbs) spent last season in the ECHL with the Reading Royals and the Alaska Aces. In 48 games with the Royals, Cruthers scored 11 goals, had 28 assists, and recorded 77 penalty minutes. He joined the Aces late in the season and tallied six points and 29 penalty minutes in ten playoff games.
Over a five year span Cruthers registered 86 goals and 152 assists for 238 points in 239 ECHL games. In 2009-10, he led the Royals with 24 points in 16 playoff games. He is the Royals all-time leading scorer and also holds their team record for the fastest goal ever scored; scoring eight seconds into the period.
Cruthers has played professionally in the ECHL, American Hockey League, and Central Hockey League. He played four years of collegiate hockey for Army (2003-05) and Robert Morris University (2006-08). In 2008, Cruthers was named College Hockey America's Player of the Year.
"Ryan is an experienced player who will provide the Solar Bears with leadership on and off the ice," said Solar Bears Head Coach Drake Berehowsky.
The Orlando Solar Bears, the ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Minnesota Wild and AHL's Houston Aeros, are coming Out of Hibernation and will play 36 regular season home games at the 2012 Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year, the Amway Center, beginning October 20, 2012.