GREENVILLE, S.C. — The Greenville Swamp Rabbits have signed defenseman Ryan Zuhlsdorf to a Standard Player Contract for the upcoming 2020–21 season. Drafted in the fifth round by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2015, Zuhlsdorf, 23, brings a two-way flair, and high-level hockey experience to the Swamp Rabbits' blue line."I was very excited to speak with Andrew Lord and get to know what the culture was that he was trying to put in Greenville. He talked to me about how much he enjoyed watching my game," Zuhlsdorf said. "Having a head coach express that interest in you and interest in your development is something I really wanted entering my pro career. Lord is investing his coaching energy into me and it's something I really appreciate. I want to get acclimated to the pro style of game and really develop my all-around game and move up the ranks."Out of Edina, Minnesota, Zuhlsdorf played for the University of Minnesota over the past four seasons, and when he found his way to the scoreboard, the Golden Gophers found a way to win. When Zuhlsdorf posted a point, Minnesota posted a 23-3-2 record, and won all three games when he scored a goal.With Zuhlsdorf in the lineup, the Golden Gophers won the 2017 Big Ten regular season championship, which set an NCAA record sixth consecutive regular season title. The Minnesotan was a four year letter winner, a two-time Big Ten All-Academic selection, and the recipient of the Dr. V. George Nagobads Unsung Hero Award."I believe there is some real potential with Ryan and we are excited to have him on board. Both myself and Phillip Barski liked what we saw and heard during the recruiting process," Lord said. "Ryan skates well, is solid defensively, and played a lot of minutes for Minnesota in a very good conference. Zuhlsdorf is good on the penalty kill and is willing to block shots. We also believe he has some more offensive upside than his numbers in college show."Prior to his collegiate career, Zuhlsdorf enjoyed a productive career in North America's Tier I junior hockey league, the USHL. After being drafted by the Sioux City Musketeers, his 22 points in 56 games and +25 rating earned him USHL All-Rookie honors. Halfway through the year, he earned his first shot with the U.S. Junior Select Team, and helped Team USA win the gold medal at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge in Kindersley, Saskatchewan. He was also named to the 2015 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game held in Dubuque, Iowa.It was after that productive season that he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Florida.The next season, Zuhlsdorf was named captain of the Musketeers, and posted 23 points in 30 games. In the midst of that, Zuhlsdorf earned a spot on the U.S. Junior Select Team for the second time, and won the bronze medal with Team USA in the 2015 World Junior A Challenge in Whitby, Ontario.Zuhlsdorf was traded to the Dubuque Fighting Saints in a deadline deal to help a contending team become a championship favorite. With Dubuque, he proved to be a stalwart defenseman who helped the Saints earn a sixth-consecutive berth into the Clark Cup Playoffs, and make it to the Clark Cup Final for the third time in team history. At Edina High School, Zuhlsdorf was part of a powerhouse club that captured the 2014 MSHSL Class AA State Championship, and as part of the Edina Bantam program, won the Youth Hockey Hub Bantam Player of the Year in Minnesota.
SEASON TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW!Support the Swamp Rabbits and get the best price on tickets for the 2020–21 season. Take part in team events and get some sweet benefits, starting at just $450 per seat, or just $12.50 per game.GEAR UP!Get ready for the 2020–21 season by heading to our online store, the Hop Shop! Stay safe with Swamp Rabbits masks, or show your excitement for new head coach Andrew Lord with our special edition Lord #71 t-shirt.