|During the offseason, Bobby Ryan shed 20 pounds from his frame and cut his body fat from 17 to nine percent. "It's the best I have ever felt, that is for sure," Ryan said. |
There were no vacations to secluded beaches, fishing voyages or days out on the golf links during Bobby Ryan
’s offseason itinerary.
Wanting desperately to shed the prospect
tag that frequently shows up before his name, Ryan spent his time away in the same place he is at right now for training camp, Anaheim ICE, where he worked out feverishly with Ducks Strength and Conditioning Coach Sean Skahan.
The result for the 21-year-old was a drop in body fat from 17 to nine percent, 20 pounds lost and an increased confidence out on the ice.
“It’s the best I have ever felt, that is for sure,” Ryan said of his current condition. “It was a tough summer. I made the commitment to come out here and had to change everything I’ve ever done.”
Along with the daily workouts, Ryan changed to a more active lifestyle and consulted with a nutrionalist who set him up with the Sunfare meal plan that delivered healthy food his way. Previously having three or four “cheat days”, Ryan now limits his encounters with guilty pleasures to once a week. His biggest test? Staying away from a personal favorite side order.
“French fries were the one thing that were the hardest for me not to eat all summer and they were the only thing I couldn’t,” said Ryan, who currently weights 207 pounds. “It was hard to cut those off, but Friday night was cheat night and it was a good night at the Ryan household.”
The summer training on and off the ice for the 2005 No. 2 overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft has helped boost his game as he competes in his fourth training camp as a professional.
“When all your other test scores go up the way that mine did, it made it all worth it,” said Ryan, who scored 10 points in 23 games with the Ducks in 2007-08. "I almost feel like a different person at times out there. It’s a great feeling.”
Others have quickly noticed the changes in Ryan, notably his head coach and teammates. “Bobby Ryan
looks like he’s in the best shape he’s ever been in,” said Carlyle after Monday’s training camp. He’s progressing. I think the one thing that is most noticeable is he’s not struggling to keep up with the pace of the scrimmages.”
Added Teemu Selanne
, "I’m expecting this is going to his breakout year. He looks really good. You can see from his face that he’s ready now. I’m expecting he’s going to take a huge step forward because he has unbelievable tools.”
|"When all your other test scores go up the way mine did, it made it all worth it," Ryan said. "I almost feel like a different person at time out there. It's a great feeling." |
The initial move that got Ryan rolling toward marked improvement was being sent down to Portland
a third time last season, during Anaheim
’s Western Conference Quarterfinal series with Dallas
On a 2 a.m. flight across the country after being a healthy scratch in Game 4 against the Stars, Ryan felt a challenge to prove he should have stayed with the Ducks.
Taking Ducks Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Burke’s advice to take the AHL playoffs by storm, Ryan led the Pirates in scoring (20 points, also ranked sixth in the league) while getting the team within one game of the Calder Cup Final.
“I think that was something that I had to do to state my case,” Ryan said of his AHL playoff performance. “I think they were happy with it.”
Ryan experienced that success for the most part as a left wing, in contrast to his normal position on the right.
Saying the change, “went well some times and other times didn’t “, Ryan began to get a feel for the position and because of the success he’s had at left wing the Ducks coaching staff has him slated there currently.
“He seems more comfortable over there,” Carlyle said. “I think the coaching staff in Portland
recognized that with him and it worked.”
Said Ryan, “I’m starting to feel better every day with it. It’s still tougher because you’re doing everything on the backhand on that side, but you get the added benefit of trying to cut across the middle in the offensive zone.”
Still trying to solidify his permanent spot on the Ducks and in the NHL, Ryan’s no-nonsense offseason has him headed in the right direction.
“I feel like they want me in the top six (forward) mix,” Ryan said. “Every indication is there is room for me. I feel like it is my spot to lose. I’m starting to earn my stripes more and more and starting to put it in the back of their minds that I’m here to stay this year. Notes
For the third straight day of training camp, center Brendan Morrison skated with the Ducks during morning drills while sitting out the following scrimmage. With no pain emanating from his surgically repaired right knee, Morrison said he expects to make his scrimmage debut on Tuesday, which was echoed by Carlyle in his meeting with reporters.
“I feel good,” Morrison said. “I think I need to get hit a couple of times to feel comfortable. Once you get past that initial contact and you know everything is going to be fine.”
While Morrison should see his first contact on Tuesday, Carlyle said he would not be in the lineup in the Ducks’ first preseason game on Wednesday against San Jose
at Honda Center.