Sports

Rosenthal brings veteran leadership

Coquitlam Express captain Ryan Rosenthal in a familiar position in front of the opposing goal in a game earlier this month against the Vernon Vipers.  - Dan Ebenal/The Tri-City News
Coquitlam Express captain Ryan Rosenthal in a familiar position in front of the opposing goal in a game earlier this month against the Vernon Vipers.
— image credit: Dan Ebenal/The Tri-City News

Montvale, New Jersey is a long way from Coquitlam. But watching Ryan Rosenthal on the ice with the Express you’d swear that he’s right at home.

Rosenthal joined the Express this year as a 20 year old, after playing six games with the University of Vermont Catamounts last year.

“When I decided to take a year of junior my assistant coach knew [Express coach] Barry Wolff here and put me in touch with him. Barry was really excited about it so I got excited and it all worked out for the best,” said Rosenthal.

And it didn’t take long for Rosenthal to fit in, being named captain in his first BCHL season and quickly displaying a knack around the net that translates well in any league.

“Since day one he’s been a leader. When we need a big goal he puts the team on his back and he creates it or finds it or scores it,” said Wolff. “I can’t say enough about him. Those are the kinds of kids you wish you had 20 of.”

The 6’2” 200-pound forward has racked up 20 goals and 42 points in 33 games with the Express this season, good enough to put him in the top 10 in BCHL scoring.

“I’ve been lucky so far and my team helps me with that,” said Rosenthal, adding he never expected to be among the league leaders coming into the season. “But obviously it’s fun to get points.”

But Rosenthal’s skills aren’t only limited to the offensive zone. He also plays a key role in penalty killing, taking key face offs and being called on to help preserve a lead late in games.

“I try to do a little bit of everything,” he said. “Obviously here I’m looked to to score some goals but I’m also one of the bigger and older guys so they also look for me to be physical and create space for guys like [Adam] Rockwood and [Corey] Mackin.”

Rosenthal said there’s no one player he models his game after, although growing up in New Jersey, Patrick Elias, the Devils all-time leading scorer, has always been a favourite.

“I sort of take different things from different players,” he said. “There’s guys like Patrick Kane and [Alex] Ovechkin and obviously [Sidney] Crosby that have certain skills that you always look up to so I kind of try to take things from everybody but Elias was always my go-to guy.”

After the season, Rosenthal plans on returning to the U.S. east coast, having accepted a scholarship to attend Northeastern University.

“It’s right in Boston which is an awesome city. My older brother went to Northeastern so I know the school pretty well. When I went on my visit I felt right at home.”

And when he takes to the ice with the Huskies next season, Rosenthal is convinced his time spent in the BCHL will have prepared him to move on to the next level.

“I definitely will be more ready to go this time around in terms of responsibility in the D zone,” he said. “It’s a really offensive league so if you let down defensively team are going to capitalize.”

 

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