Sunday’s Oilers practice at Agganis Arena was a homecoming for defenceman Eric Gryba, who played four NCAA seasons with the Boston University Terriers.
Following a strong campaign with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers in 2005-06 (15 points, +13 in 56 games) that resulted in a third-round NHL selection by the Ottawa Senators, the Saskatoon native accepted a scholarship to BU and took his career further east.
Gryba played 153 games for the Terriers, accumulating six goals and 16 assists during his tenure. The highlight of his college career came in 2009 as BU captured the national championship with a roster that featured several other future NHLers like Nick Bonino, Kevin Shattenkirk and Colin Wilson. The Terriers edged out Vermont 5-4 in the semifinal and beat Miami (Ohio) 4-3 in overtime to capture the national title.
“It's the first time I’ve gotten to skate on this ice since leaving school, and it brings back a lot of good memories and a lot of good times,” said Gryba, who even skipped the bus ride from the team hotel to the rink so he could return to the BU campus early and go for breakfast at one of his old favourite spots, T Anthony’s.
“Having such a rich history of great players and great athletes at a great school, it was everything I could’ve asked for in a collegiate experience. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.”
Gryba is +2 with three assists in 26 games this season, logging 19+ minutes in three of the last four games, including 22:35 vs. Dallas, his second-tightest TOI this season. He’s currently paired with a fellow Canadian prairie boy, Taber native Brandon Davidson.