HERSHEY, Pa. – The Hershey Bears added another goaltender to their stable on Friday, signing Ryan Bednard to an AHL contract for the 2021-22 season. This move continues to bolster the depth between the pipes for the organization, and likely benefits Hershey’s ECHL affiliate, the South Carolina Stingrays.
Bednard, 24, previously had a stint with the Springfield Thunderbirds and spent the past two seasons with their ECHL affiliate, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. The 6’5, 205 pound netminder played for Bowling Green University prior to turning pro, and led all ECHL goaltenders in shutouts with four this past season.
One interesting fact about Bednard is that the young goaltender faced the Bears in two of his ten games of AHL experience during the 2019-20 season. The Bears dropped a 5-2 decision in his second AHL win on January 22, 2020 but came back on February 8 at Giant Center with a 5-2 win of their own a couple of weeks later.
Bednard had two starts this past season for the Syracuse Crunch and has a cumulative 3.13 goals-against average, and a 0.902 save percentage in ten AHL starts, collecting a 5-4-0-1 record. In 35 ECHL games this past season, Bednard compiled a 2.43 goals-against average, and a 0.917 save percentage. Bednard received the ECHL’s Goaltender of the Week honor three times this past season.
Right before that goal, Ryan Bednard made this incredible glove save on Tim Soderlund. pic.twitter.com/KrYgaTrVuV
— FPHFuel (@FPHFuel) March 1, 2020
Bednard continues the trend of solid goaltending signings by the Washington organization. With players like Pheonix Copley, Zach Fucale, and Hunter Shepard under contract with the Capitals at this point, the odds are most likely that Bednard will primarily skate with the Stingrays. However, it would not be surprising for Bednard to get a look at some point in the coming season, especially with his strong ECHL numbers. He’s been building towards a bigger opportunity and has shown he can play at the AHL level, and he’ll look to earn that opportunity this fall.
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