By Earl Zukerman
Ryan McKiernan of the McGill men’s hockey team has signed a one-year contract to play for AIK, a Swedish team based in Stockholm.
The 24-year-old finance senior from White Plains, N.Y., earned OUA all-star honours and CIS All-Canadian status last season, capping off the campaign by being voted as the most outstanding defenceman in CIS hockey. He led the Redmen in points during the regular season and was the top-scoring blueliner in the nation with a 13-24-37 record in 28 contests. In 44 games overall, he registered 47 points, including 15 goals.
The AIK hockey club, which was founded in 1921, competed in the top league in Sweden last season but were relegated to the second league (HockeyAllsvenskan) for the coming year.
“The second division over there is an excellent level of hockey and I will make sure that I am prepared to make an impact,” said McKiernan, a six-foot, 193-pound rearguard who served two seasons as an alternate captain and graduated this month with a commerce degree. “I am very excited about the opportunity.”
He is one of a dozen former Redmen currently skating in the pro ranks, a group that includes Marc-Andre Dorion (EHC Linz, Austria), Maxime Langelier-Parent (Nottingham, England), Guillaume Doucet (Herlev, Denmark), Francis Verreault-Paul (Tønsberg, Norway), Evan Vossen (Missouri, CHL), Yan Turcotte (Hull, England), David Urquhart (Ritten-Renon, Italy), David Burgess (Eaters Geleen, Netherlands), Hubert Genest (Nantes, France), Jean-Michel Daoust (Stavanger, Norway) and Nicolas Biniek (Lyon, France).
McKiernan, who earned Academic All-Canadian honours and made the Principal’s Student-athlete Honour Roll, is a two-time recipient of the Bobby Bell trophy as Redmen team MVP. He posted a 41-76-117 record and 194 penalty minutes in 160 career games at McGill. He becomes the third player in McGill history to play pro in Sweden, joining previous Redmen rearguards Dan Jacob (Kristianstads IK, 2005-06) and Shawn Mondor (Värnamo, 1992-93
McKiernan helped guide the Redmen to three OUA Eastern Conference banners and two OUA Queen’s Cup titles, in addition to the CIS University Cup national championship in 2012. Prior to joining McGill, he led Drummondville to the QMJHL’s President’s Cup league title in 2009. He will be just the second Canadian listed on AIK’s current roster, joining Jordan Henry, a 30-year-old native of Nokomis, Sask., who previously played in the NHL with Chicago and Anaheim.
McKiernan’s Honours / Awards won at McGill:
- Alternate Captain (2012-13, 2013-14)
- CIS Gold Medalist (2011-12 national championship)
- CIS Most Outstanding Defenceman (2013-14)
- OUA Most Outstanding Defenceman (2013-14)
- CIS All-Canadian (2013-14)
- OUA All-star (2013-14)
- Led all CIS defenceman in scoring (28GP:13-21-34 in 2013-14)
- (two-time) Team’s Most Valuable Player (Bobby Bell Trophy, 2012-13 and 2013-14)
- Richard Pound Award – presented to a graduating McGill student-athlete for proficiency & leadership in athletics (April 2014)
- Guy Lafleur Trophy for the Quebec university player who best combines hockey with academics & citizenship (June, 2012)
- Academic All-Canadian (2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13)
- Principal’s Student-athlete Honour Roll (2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13)
- Uldis Auders Award (top sophomore student-athlete at McGill; 2010-11)
- 1938 Champions Award presented to a McGill student-athlete for leadership (Oct. 2013)