FORT McMURRAY, AB (October 16, 2014) — The Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League have acquired 18-year old forward Ryan Gruszka (Belle River, Ont.) in a trade with the Cochrane Crunch of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, the team announced today.
In exchange, the Oil Barons send fellow 1996-born forward Michael Sauer (Bemidji, Minn.) to the Crunch.
Gruszka – 5'11″, 175 lbs – had scored six points (3 goals, 3 assists) in twelve games so far with the Crunch in his first season of Junior A hockey. Last season, as a seventeen-year old, he scored 38 points in 26 games with the Wallaceburg Lakers Junior C team, leading the squad, before moving up to the Lambton Shores Predators of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, where he scored 7 points in 16 games with 62 penalty minutes.
The year prior, Gruszka led the Windsor Jr. Spitfires Midget AAA team in scoring with 15 goals and 23 assists for 38 points in just 26 games, with 36 penalty minutes.
“From what we've seen, Ryan is a gritty forward who has scored at every level he has played at,” said Oil Barons head coach and general manager Curtis Hunt. “We're expecting him to add some bite to our lineup, without taking anything away from the skill that we already possess.”
Gruszka is scheduled to join the team today at practice.
The Oil Barons organization would like to thank Michael Sauer for his service and wish him the best of luck in Cochrane. Sauer registered 3 goals and 3 assists in 11 games for the MOB, with 2 penalty minutes.
The Oil Barons return home to the Casman Centre this weekend for two vital home games, hosting the first-place Camrose Kodiaks on Friday night, and the Calgary Mustangs on Saturday night in a rematch of last Sunday's 3-2 shootout loss in Calgary.
Both games begin at 8:00 PM, with tickets available at the Casman Centre box office, online at tickets.oilbarons.com, or by phone at (780) 743-5509.