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Predators Ink Rising Defensive Prospect Ryan Ufko To ELC



Photo of Ryan Ufko courtesy of the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Fresh off a breakout junior year at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Nashville Predators prospect Ryan Ufko isn’t waiting any longer to turn pro.

The 20-year-old defenseman signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Predators on Friday, just 24

 Graph via X (@ByronMBader)

hours after UMass was eliminated in the NCAA Tournament in a 2-1 double overtime loss to Denver.

“I’m very grateful and excited about this opportunity and next step in my career,” Ufko said in a release. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, teammates and coaches. I’m so grateful I came to UMass and got to be a part of a team and culture that is very special and am forever grateful for it.”

Ufko was the No. 11-ranked prospect in Nashville Hockey Now’s post-draft prospect rankings, and he was Predators the No. 14-ranked prospect by The Athletic.

In three seasons with the Minutemen, Ufko totaled 23 goals and 81 points in 106 games, including a career-high 10 goals, 26 points and 55 blocked shots this season. His six game-winning goals tied a UMass single-season record, and he was named a Hockey East First Team All-Star.

A fourth-round pick of the Predators in 2021, Ufko was named co-captain at UMass this season, helping lead the Minutemen to a 20-14-3 record and semifinal appearance in the Hockey East Tournament.

“Ufko leaves UMass as one of the all-time great defensemen to come through our program,” UMass coach Greg Carvel said. “He was a tremendous leader this past season, serving as captain of a team that had to earn its way back to the NCAA Tournament. … It was an honor and a complete pleasure coaching Ryan. He is one of the most talented players I have worked with during my time in college hockey and I look forward to watching him play in the NHL.”

Follow Michael Gallagher on X/Twitter @MGsports_

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