July 14, 2024

Nashville Predators General Manager Barry Trotz announced today the signing of defenseman Ryan Ufko to a three-year entry-level contract, set to commence in the 2024-25 season.

Ryan Ufko – DobberProspects

Ufko, aged 20 (born May 7, 2003), concluded a distinguished three-year tenure at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Thursday, as the Minutemen were defeated by the University of Denver in a 2-1 double-overtime clash in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Serving as co-captain, the 6-foot, 174-pound defenseman garnered numerous accolades this season, including being named a finalist for the Hockey East Player of the Year award, earning recognition as a Hockey East First-Team All-Star, and receiving three weekly conference honors. He achieved a career-high in NCAA goals with 10, with six of them occurring on the power play, and ranked second among team defensemen in points with 26 in 37 games. Ufko also registered five multi-point performances, including a season-best four-point outing on Dec. 8 against Alaska Anchorage (1 goal, 3 assists). Additionally, he was nominated for the Hobey Baker Award, named a semifinalist for the Walter Brown Award (honoring the top college hockey player in New England), and secured the Len Ceglarski Sportsmanship Award, recognizing exemplary conduct and sportsmanship on the ice in Hockey East.

Originally selected by Nashville in the fourth round (115th overall) of the 2021 NHL Draft, Ufko amassed 81 points (23 goals, 58 assists) across 106 career NCAA games for UMass Amherst from 2021 to 2024. Alongside his junior season accomplishments, he earned Hockey East Second All-Star Team honors as a sophomore in 2022-23 and was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team during his freshman campaign in 2021-22, contributing to the Minutemen’s conference triumph. Internationally, the Smithtown, N.Y., native represented the United States at the 2023 World Junior Championship, securing a bronze medal while tying for the tournament lead in points among defensemen with 10 (1 goal, 9 assists). Before enrolling at UMass Amherst, Ufko clinched the Clark Cup and was named to the USHL’s First All-Star Team in his final season with the Chicago Steel in 2020-21.

Co-Captaincy Just The Start Of Ryan Ufko's Potential Breakout Year

 

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