In an exclusive interview with the AIHL Podcast hosts Burnie Mac and Steve White, the Sydney Ice Dogs announced the signing of star defenceman Rory Rawlyk to bolster their defensive armament.
Rawlyk hails from Edmonton in Alberta, Canada and has played for multiple leagues including the American Hockey League (AHL), MOL Liga, Western Hockey League (WHL), East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL), Allsvenskan and DEL-2 (Germany).
His career has taken him around the world, most recently skating for the Florida Everblades and the Atlanta Gladiators in the ECHL. In the 39 games he played during the 2016-17 ECHL season, the 6'5", 99kg skater registered 11 points and 38 penalty minutes.
“I'm looking forward to the experience… I love the game and this is a good opportunity to see the world, says Rawlyk.
“If you can do that while playing hockey, what more can you ask for? At the end of the day it's always nice to get a chance to go win something so that would top it all off”.
The seasoned defenceman brings an impressive list of stats and a wealth of experience to the Sydney team, including:
339 career games in the ECHL, amassing 45 goals and 120 assists for 165 points and 342 penalty minutes.
Four seasons in the AHL with the Hartford Wolf Pack (affiliate of the New York Rangers), where he skated alongside New York Rangers’ defenceman Dan Giradi, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky and Calgary Flames goaltender Brian Elliot.
The Ice Dogs’ new import has also played in 137 regular season games in the WHL, whilst also making 23 post-season appearances (2002-03). He totalled 16 goals and 32 assists for 48 points and 126 penalty minutes.
During the 2010-11 DEL-2 (Germany) season, the blue liner had the most goals by a defenseman. In the 2013-14 EIHL season he was named to the Second All-Star Team and was a Gardiner Conference Champion.
For the Ice Dogs’ General Manager Jason Juba, Rory will provide a critical link between their defensive strength and offensive potential.
“Rory really is the icing on the cake for us defensively, said Juba.
“We really needed a quarterback on the power play and he will provide us that and much more offensively. Our fans should be very excited as we now have one of the best if not the best defensemen in the league this year.”
Hear more about what Rawlyk can bring to the Ice Dogs’ signing with Head Coach’s exclusive interview with the AIHL Podcast.
Fans can catch Rawlyk wearing #88 for the Dogs, with Coach Chris Blag hoping to have him on the roster in time to play Adelaide on the Saturday 6 May, and then defending champions the Newcastle North Stars on Sunday 7 May.