He's doing pretty well considering many people were saying his career was over after taking a nasty hit at the end of last year.
I was shocked to see him in camp, let alone skating just as fast as he used to and still recklessly throwing his body into people.
With his intangibles he's always a shot at making the NHL, he's very fast, he's defensively aware, he's a tenacious worker. I just don't know if he makes it with Buffalo considering they have alot of fowards like this (Roy, Bartovic, Paille, Thorburn, Stafford).
I'm not sure what he weighed last year, I think it was closer to 176 lbs than his 191 that he weighs now. Pretty good for a kid who could only start working out a few weeks before the season started.
His main problem is that of a few players I listed above. Especially Bartovic. And that's his wrist shot. It's fast, but very "inaccurate". Actually it may not be a mechanical problem, it may be more that he always looks to be rushing his shots. You would think someone with his speed would be used to 1 on 1 situations with the goaltender but he clomes up short alot.
I think he should be on pace for 15 goals this year at the very least.
But I would say he does have a shot at the NHL, with his attitude and speed alone, but he's also 6' 1" and has some filling out to do still.
"I know for a fact I will play in the NHL," Ryan says. "Whether it's one year, two years or three years, I'm not going to settle for not making it. I've come this far; I'm old enough and mature enough to know what I want to do with my life. I have school to fall back on as well, but right now I'm dead set on making it in the NHL."
He plays a lot like the Johan Hecht we saw last season, without the offensive ability. If the kid is as determined as he says he is, I can see him making it as 3rd liner.
As the fellow Sabre fans here know, I'm as critical as anybody. But I like Ryan. He is such a fast skater, and has a great ability to kill penalties. Not afraid to hit, and will chip in some goals from the fourth line. I don't think he is 100% back from last year, but just about.
Now if only he had a decent center, then his scoring might pick up some.