Rebels Ryden bound for ACAC with Thunder


Four more years.

Castlegar Rebel Griffen Ryden is hoping to extend his hockey career by that many years as he joins the Concordia University of Edmonton Thunder men’s hockey program next season.

“It means a lot,” said Ryden, who will play in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference. “It’s really nice to know that I will get the opportunity to play at the next level. That has always been my goal and I’m glad I have gotten the opportunity to do it.”

The Brandon, Manitoba native chose the Thunder program because he likes Edmonton, it’s closeness to home and that he wanted to go to a Canadian university. CUE has the Bachelor of Management degree program he wanted, which will be a backup for Ryden, who has applied to the RCMP.

Ryden said the level of play in the ACAC is a big step as he plays for a great program. 

“I’ve had great talks with Head Coach Joey Bouchard, and I just got a really good feeling about me developing there,” he said. “I think it’s just a really good program to get into these next few years.”

Ryden said his season has been very good with this confidence growing and his ability to score has helped that. Ryden is among the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s  top-20 point producers with 38 in 35 games.

“I’m playing with more confidence offensively and defensively and just trying to produce for my team,” he said. 

He’s improved his shooting and capitalized on scoring opportunities, which has given him confidence. Ryden has credited his time in the KIJHL for helping him get offensively strong and realizing his offensive potential.

“Even just the exposure you get from the league and everything that comes with that has been a big help,” said Ryden.