By Dom Luszczyszyn
Andrew Buck, former captain of the Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team, signed with the Brampton Beast of the Central Hockey League Wednesday evening.
“I didn’t expect it,” said Buck. “I had talked to a few teams after we finished but it just didn’t seem like it was going to work. I got a call Monday morning from Brampton and was very excited.”
Rams head coach Graham Wise was thrilled for his feisty winger.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for him,” said Wise. “I really hope it works out for him and appreciate Brampton taking a look at him.”
Buck was a five-year veteran of the Rams, joining in 2009 after being recruited by Wise, who watched him play for the Newmarket Hurricanes of the OJHL. The Newmarket, Ont., native has been captain of the Rams for the past three seasons.
“He’s a great individual. He’s just been outstanding in the five years he was here. He was a good ambassador for the hockey team,” Wise said. “There’s a lot of things that he contributes not just on the ice as a great player, but for Ryerson and the community at large.”
The 6-foot-2, 225 pound left winger compiled 90 points in 125 games over his tenure at Ryerson. He had 16 points in 24 games this season. It was his last year of eligibility and the team finished third in the OUA West division with a 17-11-0 record.
Assistant captain Brian Birkhoff said that playing with Buck was an incredible experience.
“I got to play with him in three of his five years and it was nothing short of an honour,” said Birkhoff, the third-year defenceman. “He was a workhorse, a great leader, a great guy in the dressing room, and a great guy off the ice. In my rookie year before I committed to Ryerson he kind of showed me the ropes of Ryerson and took me for a tour and really sold the school for me.”
Buck joins a Brampton team in the midst of a road trip to face the Rapid City rush this weekend. The team currently sits in fifth place with 67 points with just five games remaining before the playoffs.
Wise has yet to make a decision on who’ll be the next captain of the Rams and said that the coaching staff will make decide at the beginning of next season.