Devils sign ex-NHL forward

Cardiff Devils have signed former Columbus Blue Jackets forward Ryan Russell for the remainder of the season.

Russell played the last two seasons in Sweden for Leksand IF and prior to that spent the majority of his career in the American Hockey League, with a 41 game stint in the NHL with Columbus in 2011-12.

Despite not playing this season, Russell has been training regularly with the Red Deer Rebels to stay in shape as he waited for a late season offer.

After turning pro in 2007-08, Russell spent four seasons with the Hamilton Bulldogs, twice scoring over 20 goals and being named an assistant captain during his final two years with the club.

The signing of Russell came about through a Calgary connection with the Devils’ owners.

Russell’s brother, Kris, plays in the NHL with the Calgary Flames and he spoke to Steve King about Ryan joining the Devils next season.

Player/Coach Andrew Lord was looking to add another forward for the home stretch and approached Ryan about coming to the Elite League this season.

“Ryan has an impressive skill set and will fit in well with this forward unit,” said Lord. We wanted to bring in an energy player, someone that is going to bring great work ethic every single night, and we think we have found the guy with Russell.

“He has proven he can play at the highest level and the reports on him told us what we needed to hear – he leads by example, he has a great hockey IQ, has great speed and works hard every shift.

“Everyone we spoke to also commented on what a great teammate he is, which is essential for this group.”

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