Oshawa Generals star signs AHL deal with Rockford IceHogs

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Published May 16, 2023 at 3:09 pm

Ryan Gagnier. Photo Terry Wilson, OHL Images

The Eastern Conference’s ‘Hardest Working Player’ just earned himself a pro contract after a solid overage season with the Oshawa Generals.

Ryan Gagnier, the Tecumseth native, one-time Leamington Flyer and last year’s top scorer and MVP with the Oshawa club, signed a deal with the Rockford IceHogs, the Chicago Blackhawks’ American Hockey League affiliate.

Gagnier, 20, has spent the past four seasons in the OHL – all with the Generals – and led the team with 69 points in 66 games last year. He also scored the overtime winner in Oshawa’s only playoff victory in a five-game series defeat to the top-ranked Ottawa 67s.

A two-way player who won 55 per cent of his faceoffs last season and finished second in the voting in the annual coach’s poll for best defensive forward and best penalty killer in the Eastern Conference, in addition to top honours in the ‘Hardest Working Player’ category.

Those skills will serve the former third-round OHL draft pick well as he takes his next step on his pro hockey journey.

“Oshawa treats and develops its players better than anywhere else,” he said. “All the tools to become a better person and hockey player are provided day in and day out. I’m grateful for my time spent there and am beyond excited to continue to do what I do within the Blackhawks organization.”

The 6’ 186-pound Gagnier made his OHL debut with Generals with a one game call up in the 2018-19 season before making the club on a full time basis the following year. He collected 113 points in 189 games in Oshawa, with more than 60 per cent of that total in his final season. He also won a number of team awards during his tenure including team MVP, Heart of a General, Community Service, Top Scorer, and Three Star Award.

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