ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — The Rockford IceHogs Wednesday announced that defenseman Ryan Stanton has signed an American Hockey League contract with the club for the 2021-22 season.
Stanton, 32, returns to the IceHogs and Chicago Blackhawks organization after skating with the club for three seasons from 2010-13. He ranks 11th all-time in IceHogs history and fourth among franchise defensemen with 224 games played. Stanton is fourth in club history with 332 penalty minutes, places sixth among IceHogs blueliners with 51 assists and seventh with 61 points.
“Ryan’s veteran presence is exactly what our team needed,” said IceHogs Head Coach Derek King. “You look at certain players that can come into your room and be leaders for the younger kids. Ryan is one of those guys. When his name came up, Bernie (Blackhawks VP of Hockey Operations/Team Affiliates Mark Bernard) got the job done. I think he will be a perfect fit for this organization.”
The St. Albert, Alberta, native enters his 11th professional season in 2021-22 with 514 AHL games under his belt with Rockford, Hershey, San Antonio, Cleveland, Bakersfield, and Ontario, totaling 25 goals and 109 assists for 134 points and 646 penalty minutes. Last season, he dressed in 35 games with Bakersfield, picking up a goal and 12 assists for 13 points. During the 2015-16 season, Stanton and IceHogs captain Garrett Mitchell were teammates with the Hershey Bears and helped the Bears reach the Calder Cup Final.
“I’m looking forward to being back and I’m excited to get started,” mentioned Stanton. “It’s a good opportunity to come in and I’ll be the older guy there. I like working with the younger guys and showing them what I know. I think I can still play and add value to the team. I want to come in and be a leader and show the young guys what it takes.”
In the NHL, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound defenseman skated in 120 games with Chicago, Vancouver, and Washington adding 27 points (4 G, 23 A) and was a member of the Blackhawks during their 2013 Stanley Cup championship run.