By Alex Gallacher
Ryan Hall scored his first career OJHL earlier this season against the Toronto Patriots on Oct. 27, and since then Hall has been a substantial addition to the Huskies blue line.
Adding seven more assists, the Haliburton defenseman has enjoyed his three seasons so far in the league. In this second edition of Getting to Know the Huskies, we will be looking into the journey of one of two local players on the team: Ryan Hall.
Since joining the league in the 2018-19 season, Hall has jumped around to three different teams in his time. Joining the Trenton Golden Hawks as an affiliated player, Hall made the team during the 2019 – 20 season and played 21 games before being shipped off to Lindsay for the final 25 games of the season. Despite not scoring any goals, he tallied seven assists over those 47 games.
Moving to the Whitby Fury for the 2021 – 22 season, when the Fury moved back home to Minden it was a dream come true for Hall.
“I started out in Trenton and was traded to the Muskies before Christmas,” Hall said. “I then joined the Whitby Fury and when they became the Huskies it all worked out for me. I get to play at home, in front my family and home fans. So it’s been great.”
Being able to play for his hometown team is an experience like no other. Hall never thought he would get the opportunity to play high level junior hockey, but when Ryan Ramsay broke the news to him, there was a party in the Hall household.
Every night, Hall’s friends and family are in attendance – an experience not many players in the OJHL get the luxury of having. Players come from far and wide but Hall’s family commute is roughly 30 minutes.
“When Ryan Ramsay told me the Huskies were coming home, I was really excited,” Hall said. “My family could come to every game, the locals that I know could come and the town is full of big hockey fans so it was a great thing to find out for sure.”
Joining the Huskies has been a treat for Hall, as he is having the best season of his career thus far. Scoring his first goal as well as logging seven assists, in one season in Haliburton County he has already matched his totals from both Trenton and Lindsay combined. The first goal meant a lot to Hall as it took him two seasons of hard grinding to finally get that well-deserved result.
“It means a lot, as finally it came after all this time,” Hall said. “I think I’m having my best season so far. All the guys have been super supportive, and it’s overall been amazing.”
Hall feels at home in the Huskies roster, with great teammates and very supportive coaching staff behind him. The dynamic has been very positive, with a lot of room for personal growth and development.
All the guys on the team seem to get along well with one another, and there hasn’t been a weak link on the team all season. Hall credits the mentorship of Coach Ramsay as one of the biggest things helping his growth this season.
“Between Ryan Ramsay and Jordan Bailey, the coaching staff is awesome and I love working with them,” Hall said. “All the guys are really close, a lot of us have actually played together growing up and I think this is the most fun I’ve ever had playing hockey.”
The OJHL is viewed as the stepping stone for the next level for a lot of players in the league, but for Hall he has something else in mind for when his playing career is over.
Being only 18 years old, Hall still has a lot of time to plan his future out, but school is on the radar in one form or another.
“Most players in this league plan to go the NCAA or OHL but for me I’m not sure yet what my future holds,” Hall said. “I really want to pursue something like firefighting, after the hockey career is done, but at this moment I’m not 100 per cent sure yet.”
The Huskies have the honour of being in the top five in league attendance (behind Collingwood, Trenton and Wellington), averaging around 300 + plans per game. For Hall, the support from the town has been unreal and playing in front of these large crowds is unlike anything he has experienced before.
“When you look from the bench and the stands are full, it’s an unreal feeling,” Hall continued. “I go to some other arenas and there are like 30 fans. There is no hype, no noise, nothing. But here, the fans are always cheering and the support is crazy good!”
When he is not training for games, Hall can usually be found hanging out with friends and family. Devoting a lot of his time to keeping in shape and making sure his on-ice performance is the best it can be, Hall still does like to relax once a while with some video games and dinners with the team.
With the Huskies calling Haliburton County home, the local boys always tend to stand out among the crowd. For Ryan Hall, the local push has helped reach career high numbers and have given him a spark this season. Look for Hall to be defending the blue line each and every game with everything he has.