Gophers alum Ryan Potulny has signed an American Hockey League (AHL) contract with the Hershey Bears, Bears President/General Manager Doug Yingst announced over the weekend.
The two-time All-WCHA selection was a member of the Minnesota hockey program from 2003-06 and registered 118 career points (68 goals, 50 assists) in 100 games.The Gophers made the NCAA tournament in each of his three years at the 'U' including a run to the 2005 NCAA Frozen Four in his sophomore season. As a freshman, Potulny helped Minnesota to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) playoff title.
In 2005-06 (his final year at Minnesota), Potulny was a First Team All-American and led the nation in scoring with 38 goals and 63 points. The forward was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as the Gophers captured the MacNaughton Cup as WCHA regular-season champions.
Potulny joins former Gophers Nate Schmidt, Jeff Taffe and Ryan Stoa on Hershey's roster.
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Following his signing by the Washington Capitals to a two-year deal in July of 2011, Potulny played a total of 127 regular-season games in a Hershey sweater. In his first season with the Bears, the 6-0, 179-pound native of Grand Forks, North Dakota led the team and tied for third in the AHL with 33 goals. His 65 points placed him third among his Hershey teammates. Of his 33 tallies, 19 came on the power play, which paced the entire American Hockey League. Potulny also led the Bears with five game-winning goals.
In 2012-13, Potulny led the Bears with 19 goals, while his 41 points ranked fourth on the squad.
During through the season prior to joining the Bears, Potulny was acquired by the Ottawa Senators and came to the AHL to help the Binghamton Senators capture the Calder Cup championship. His 14 goals and 26 points in the 2011 run to the title led all postseason players.
A 2009 member of the Planet USA All-Star squad, Potulny has produced 299 points (147 goals, 152 assists) in 370 AHL games with Philadelphia, Springfield, Rockford, Binghamton and Hershey.
Potulny has also appeared in 126 NHL games with Philadelphia, Edmonton, Chicago and Ottawa, registering 49 points (22 goals, 27 assists). He was originally selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the third round (87th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.