Bobby Ryan has quite the story surrounding his life. Born Robert Shane Stevenson in March, 1987 his life has been chalked full of ups and downs from studying on his own for 3 years of school while he spent time at the ice rink his mother worked at, to suddenly packing up, changing your name and moving across the country to California. It's a story built for a movie, but this is real life and despite the incredible circumstances surrounding his life he has made the best of it.
Bobby Ryan was born in Cherry Hill, NJ on March 17, 1987 and grew up in the town of Collingswood, NJ. His early years have been written about already, we don't have much purpose for rehashing them here as we are interested in what he is doing now. If you are unfamiliar with his past I have linked an article in the opening paragraph that gives you some more detailed background.
Ryan was the 2nd overall selection by the Anaheim (Mighty) Ducks in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He wouldn't get his first taste of the NHL however until the 2007-08 season where he would see just 23 games, a minor blip on the radar where he would register just 5 goals and 5 assists. He started putting in some real work after that little blip.
Bobby Ryan's next 4 consecutive seasons would see him notch 30+ goals each season. His first "full" season, where he only played 64 games he would score 31 goals and register 26 assists for 57 points. In his 7 NHL seasons, it took a lockout for his shooting percentage to dip below 12% where he was scoring at a balmy 10.9%
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Bobby Ryan would also help the US Men's Olympic hockey team win a silver medal in the 2010 games in Vancouver. His 1 goal and 1 assist in those games may have had some influence in his not being selected for the most recent games Sochi, to which he was none to pleased with. He has consistently shown an ability to score goals and set up line-mates. Perhaps the US Men's squad would have done a little better in Sochi with him, we will never know.
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How he fits here
Bobby Ryan would pretty much fit in on any roster, and the Wild are no different. At 6'2" and over 200 pounds, he's a big winger that would bring a scoring touch who is strong on the puck. With Dany Heatley on his way out, as well as others, Ryan could easily find a home here on the wing, and why not replace a 2nd overall pick in the 2000 draft for another 2nd overall in the 2005 draft at a smaller cap hit and the promise of more production?
If the Wild are looking for a "win now" solution, Bobby Ryan should be on their radar. His 5.5 million dollar cap hit won't break the bank, and with just a season left on his contract the commitment to him would be very short term. If the Thomas Vanek dream is to big for our liking, Fletcher should definitely inquire about this guy. He's 27 and should be in the prime of his career right now. Stick him on the wing with Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu and just picture the damage they could do together.