A fundamental piece of Durant’s deep run through the high school SAHOF State Championship in his first season as a high schooler, Ryan Putnam had an excellent year in between the pipes. Boasting an incredible 2.01 GAA through the regular season, a .906 overall, and 2 shutouts in tandem with teammate William Chabalowski made Durant have one of the best goaltending duos in the league, and made Ryan one of the best freshmen in the league regardless of position. He attends Strawberry Crest, trusts Bauer’s Supreme 1S line to stop the puck, and when I asked him what his favorite post victory meal was, he told me chicken and broccoli out of all the options in the world. What can I say? Goalies are a different breed.
Ryan has been playing ice hockey for six years now, but credits his start in hockey with three years of playing roller before joining a recreational ice hockey team and quickly making the jump to playing travel under the Brandon Jr. Bulls umbrella just a season later. He’s quick to adapt to new levels of hockey, and varsity was no issue for him. One may wonder if having an older brother that can light up the league may help with this as I’m sure Ryan had already dealt with his older brother Jordan (21-16-37) taking shots on him for a fair amount of time. Jordan is a junior, so we’ll see one more season of the Putnam brothers, and I imagine it’ll be even scarier than the last. I asked Ryan what his mentality is going into every game and save, and he gave some insight into his mind, “The league in general is interesting because some nights I face 10 shots, and the next night I’m facing tough shots from OHL Draft Pick, Jake Richard. While playing hockey I always try my best to stand out against the opponent. I always want to be the highlight player on the ice, the person people are scared to face, and the person they all talk about before the game.”
Maybe teams didn’t know about him this year, but I can guarantee they’ll know to expect trouble when they see him warming up with his team this upcoming season.
Ryan knows he only has four years of high school and is already thinking ahead tot the next steps for hockey and himself after he graduates, “I want to graduate with a 3.0 at minimum, and hopefully play D1 college hockey someday. My dream is to make it to the NHL but at the bare minimum I want offers for a D1 scholarship at a great hockey school and if that doesn’t work, to play D2 and work tremendously hard to make it up to D1. Someday I want to be a big name that comes out of Florida and goes onto play up North.” I asked him what he was doing to enjoy his time in high school now, and despite his big goals, he informed me he was still focused on enjoying being a teen, “I’m trying to show off my skills and work hard, but also trying hard to be a good friend and a teammate. When I’m not playing hockey, you can usually catch me on my Playstation. I also try hard in that because I will do anything it takes to be the best. I think my dedication to things like that separate me from the rest.”
“I’m thankful for my family. Without them I wouldn’t be able to go to practice, let alone even play hockey.” Ryan knows his family makes sacrifices for him to pursue what he loves, and he wanted to end the article by recognizing them. He knows the upcoming season will be a big one, and wants every freshman out there feeling lost in the locker room that they have an important place on their teams, “Just have fun and try to stand out using your skills, make friends, and be a good teammate to everyone.” It was a pleasure speaking to Ryan and seeing the impact he made on the league through only one ear, and it’ll be exciting following his eventual journey to competing for goalie of the year sooner than later.