The Florida Panthers shored up in an area where they lack serious depth, adding another goaltender to their prospect pipelines.
Bednard, who’s 22-years-old and a native of Macomb, Michigan, recently played his hockey over in the NCAA with Bowling Green State University.
Throughout the 2018-19 NCAA campaign, Bednard featured in 32 games, posting solid figures in goals against average (GAA) (1.77) and save percentage (SV%) (.927).
Over the course of his NCAA journey, Bednard took part in a grand total of 68 games, recording an impressive GAA of 2.24, while also owning a SV% of .908.
Before playing in the NCAA, Bednard played in the USHL with the Youngstown Phantoms, playing in 40 games and finishing off his time there with a 3.23 GAA and a .904 SV%.
In addition, Bednard was also named to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Third All-Star Team, while also helping the BGSU Falcons reach the 2018-19 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament and WCHA Championship game.
Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon had this to say about the 22-year-old:
"“Ryan is a big, athletic, young goaltender who had an excellent year for Bowling Green. Among some of the top goaltenders in college hockey this season, Ryan showed tremendous growth. He adds further depth to our organization at the goaltending position and we look forward to him continuing his development with the Florida Panthers.”"
Standing at 6’5″, 201 lbs, Bednard will now have the chance to prove himself and grow his game over in the AHL with the Panthers’ minor league affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds.
Fun fact: Ryan Bednard was originally selected by the Florida Panthers in the seventh round of the 2015 NHL Draft.
While Bednard may not be the goalie of the future for the Panthers, he serves as a competent depth signing who can provide some stability in between the pipes for the Thunderbirds.