Ryan Watson (ice hockey)
June 12, 1981 |
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)|
|Played for||Oklahoma City Blazers
Victoria Salmon Kings
HC Pustertal Wölfe
Watson began his career in 1998 playing for his local team, the Lethbridge Hurricanes at junior level in the WHL. Watson did not start particularly well though, and managed just one point in 22 games in his first season.
For the 2000–01 season, Watson would play at the lower junior level of the AJHL for the Drayton Valley Thunder. His performances were much improved, and a ratio of a point per game was established during a season in which Watson played almost 60 times.
Watson would begin his senior career with the Oklahoma City Blazers of the CHL. He would settle well and established himself as an important first team player, turning out in 118 games in the two seasons, and totalling 74 points in that time. His performances brought him to the attention of the Victoria Salmon Kings, who were playing at the higher ECHL standard. The Salmon Kings signed Watson for the 2004–05 season. Watson was not a first team regular though, but still managed 33 games and 19 points.
Despite his positive points return, he was not re-signed by the Salmon Kings and so returned to the CHL with the then named Memphis Riverkings. Watson again proved his quality at this level, snatching 59 points in 64 games. In the summer of 2006, Watson moved to Europe and was signed by the Manchester Phoenix of the EIHL, the highest tier of club hockey in Britain. Watson played in only 10 games for the Phoenix before returning to North America though.
On his return he would re-sign for one of his old teams, the Oklahoma City Blazers. Watson continued to score points regularly for the Blazers throughout both the regular and post-season periods, managing almost a point per game ratio. This productivity meant that the Blazers re-signed Watson for the 2007–08 season. It would again be a positive season for Watson, who would go on to score 55 points in 63 games. Despite this, the Blazers would fail to make the post-season, and so a major squad re-building process was begun and Watson was one of the players released.
He would return to Europe and Italy to sign for Cortina SG of the Serie A. Despite the language barrier, Watson settled well and begun once again to clock up regular goals and assists. After four seasons in Italy, Watson announced his retirement from professional hockey at the conclusion of the 2011–12 season.