Originally selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the second round (34th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Ryan Stoa
spent four seasons at the University of Minnesota before heading to the professional ranks this past season.
A decorated college player, Stoa led the Gophers with 46 points (24g/22a) while serving as the team’s captain and earning spots on the AHCA All-American West First Team and the College Hockey News All-American First Team in 2008-09.
Stoa signed an entry-level contract with the Avalanche on March 27, 2009 following his junior season with the Gophers (he was granted a medical redshirt in 2007-08 after suffering a knee injury and could have returned to play for another year, but elected to turn pro). Instead of jumping right into the American Hockey League, Stoa decided to wait until the beginning of the 2009-10 campaign to start his pro career.First Professional Goal – Oct. 13, 2009
It didn’t take Stoa very long to find the score sheet, as he notched his first professional goal during his fourth game with the Monsters. It turned out to be Lake Erie’s lone goal in a 4-1 loss to the San Antonio Rampage.
In 54 games with the Monsters during the 2009-10 season, Stoa would go on to total 40 points (23g/17a). He ranked second on the club in goals (tied) and power-play tallies (10) while finishing fourth in points.NHL Debut – Dec. 13, 2009
Due to some injuries suffered by the Avalanche’s players – and as a reward for his strong play in the American Hockey League – Stoa earned his first recall to Colorado on Dec. 12. The forward suited up for his National Hockey League debut the next night against the Calgary Flames.
Stoa saw 9:22 of ice time in his first NHL contest and recorded two shots on goal in Colorado’s 3-2 triumph over the Flames. He would play in one more game (Dec. 15 vs. Washington) before being reassigned to Lake Erie.First NHL Point – Jan. 22, 2010
Recalled for the second time of the season on Jan. 21, Stoa was back in Colorado’s lineup the following night against the Nashville Predators. There, he would notch his first NHL point.
With the Avs already leading the Predators by a 1-0 count in the second period, the Bloomington, Minn., native earned the secondary assist on fellow rookie Brandon Yip’s sixth goal of the season. The tally would stand up as the game-winner in Colorado’s 2-1 victory.
One week later, Stoa would suffer a shoulder injury against Dallas forcing him to miss eight games (Jan. 31-Feb. 13)First NHL Goal – April 9, 2010
Stoa rode the Colorado/Lake Erie shuttle throughout the month of March, being recalled by the parent club on three separate occasions (March 3-12, 17-18, 23-25). He was then recalled from Lake Erie for the sixth and final time of the season on April 5.
The winger would play in each of Colorado’s final three regular season games and celebrated the occasion by scoring his first career NHL goal on April 9 against the Chicago Blackhawks. With Colorado and Chicago skating four-on-four, Stoa put a shot on goal from just outside the left circle that evaded Blackhawks netminder Antti Niemi at 17:36 of the second period.Repeat Effort – April 11, 2010
Stoa provided more of the same in Colorado’s regular season finale against the Los Angeles Kings, as he netted his second NHL goal in Colorado’s 2-1 overtime loss. After receiving a pass from Milan Hejduk
, Stoa fired a shot on net that was turned aside by Kings goalie Erik Ersberg. However, the rookie followed up his shot and knocked home the rebound to give Colorado a 1-0 lead.
Stoa also recorded a team-high six shots on goal during the game, giving him 13 shots on net in the Avalanche’s final two games of the regular season.Playoff Debut – April 18, 2010
The Avalanche lost forward Kevin Porter
to an upper-body injury in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the San Jose Sharks, which gave Stoa the opportunity to jump into the lineup for Game Three.
Unfortunately, Stoa would suffer an injury of his own during his first taste of postseason action. After recording one shot on goal in 8:45 of ice time, Stoa was sidelined with a lower-body injury during the second period of Colorado’s eventual 1-0 overtime victory. It would be Stoa’s last appearance of the season for the Avalanche.