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Meet The Rookies: Ryan Stoa


6'3", 200lbs, Center. Age: 22.

After Matt Duchene, the most intriguing forward at rookie camp is, arguably, Ryan Stoa. Stoa was taken in the 2nd round of the 2005 NHL draft, 10 slots ahead of Paul Stastny. Stoa averaged .59 points per game as a freshman and sophomore with the Uninversity of Minnesota but missed most of his junior year with a knee injury. Stoa was named captain last year and returned with a vengeance, doubling his scoring rate to lead the Golden Gophers in scoring with 46 points in 36 games (1.28 PPG), edging out freshman linemate Jordan Schroeder who was drafted in the first round by Vancouver this summer. Stoa was granted a medical redshirt for his lost junior year so he could have returned to Minnesota for one more season but opted to sign with the Avalanche this March.

Stoa seems to project as a power forward, possibly as a left wing instead of center. Although he's listed at 200lbs, I think that might be his draft weight; his Minnesota profile lists him at 213 and he's listed elsewhere at 217. Hockey's Future has the following to say about him:

At 6'3 and a bit over 200 pounds, Stoa has the potential to develop into an effective power forward in the future. He is a good skater who possesses deceptive speed despite his size, and has a great set of fundamental skills. Stoa does a good job using his body to protect the puck, which helps him to be effective down low and in the corners. He is a good forechecker but also has a bit of a scoring touch. Stoa has shown himself to be a more effective setup man, but he will find ways to bury the puck.

Bruce Ciskie from AOL's Fanhouse added the following:

He plays on both ends of the rink, he is a good passer, and he has a deceptively good shot.

Here's a highlight reel package of Ryan (note that he will be keeping his #29 with the Avs):



Outlook: There aren't a ton of openings with the club, but there are are a couple of forward positions up for grabs - especially at left wing where we've heard Stoa may play. With a solid camp, he could make the club. If not, he'll start the season with Lake Erie. I personally will be surprised if we don't see Stoa at some point this year.