Following a strong season for the University of Masschusetes-Lowell, Ryan Lohin signed a 2-year, entry-level contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He also signed an ATO contract with the Syracuse Crunch allowing him to make his debut in professional hockey while also allowing his contract to slide to this year.
The left-handed center finished his college career with 81 points in 110 games (33 goals, 48 assists) when the River Hawks lost to the Boston University Terriers in the Hockey East Quarterfinals. Ten days later he made his professional debut with the Crunch.
There wasn’t much to dissect from his three appearances in a Crunch uniform as he played just a few minutes on the bottom lines. After playing in a couple of games immediately after signing, he was scratched. In his final game he looked much more comfortable on the ice. While he didn’t get on the ice as much as he would have liked last spring, he did get valuable practice time with one of the best AHL teams in the league.
Drafted as an overager in 2016 (7th round, 208th overall) the Lightning were content to let Lohin develop in college before signing him after his junior season. His profile fits in with what the Lightning look for at the back-end of the draft. Lohin is a two-way forward with excellent hockey sense and above average passing skills. His shot could use some work as could his skating (a couple of sessions with Barb Underhill should help).
Things are a little crowded in Syracuse right now, especially down the middle, so next season could see Lohin on a shuttle between Orlando and Syracuse. A rough look at the lines shows Chris Mueller, Mitchell Stephens, and Ross Colton ahead of him. Lohin could battle for that fourth spot with Peter Abbandonato, Otto Somppi, Jimmy Huntington and Alexei Lipanov.
As a left-handed shooter, he might find an easier path to playing time along the wing wher the Crunch aren’t quite as deep (depending on other roster moves and the health of Kevin Lynch and Daniel Walcott, of course). Being willing to play other spots would help him earn a place on the roster, but he will still need a strong training camp to avoid starting the season in Orlando. At 6’0” and 190lbs he’s also a little bigger than some other Crunch forwards and might find a role as a forward that can occupy a spot in front of the net.
Here he is on the River Hawks power play deflecting a puck past the goaltender. It’s a role that the Crunch haven’t had regularly in a while that could be beneficial when all of their snipers start graduating to the NHL.
Ryan Lohin with the PPG to cut UVM lead to 4-2 pic.twitter.com/ajJeYKV5rz— UMass Lowell Hockey (@RiverHawkHockey) January 21, 2018
While as a collective our readers didn’t have him ranked, those who did had a pretty wide spread with at least one reader ranking him as high as 14. The writers were a little more clumped together towards the bottom of the rankings.
Personally I had him 20th in my final rankings, but along the way he bounced from unranked to about 16th on my earlier lists. With the limited amount of information available on him it’s just hard to rank him properly. This will be a good season to see how he adjusts to the pro game.