Twenty-year-old Ryan Button got his start in hockey with a little help from his brother.
“My brother was playing [hockey] when I was a little guy,” said Button, “and I think he just gave me some hand-me-down equipment. I threw it on and I was walking around the whole house in equipment, my parents told me I was pretty hooked from there on in.”
This Bruins top prospect certainly has come a long way from running around in his brother’s old hockey gear. Drafted by the Boston Bruins in the 3rd round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, where he was picked 86th overall, he has continued to improve his game. For Ryan, and his family, Boston was the perfect place to be drafted.
“Obviously any team taking me would have been a dream come true,” said Button, “but the Bruins are one of my family’s favorite teams to watch. It goes back to my uncles and cousins, everybody loves the Bruins. When they called my name it was just a dream come true. Now that I’m part of the organization, it’s just awesome.”
Button played 69 games during the 2010-2011 season with WHL teams Prince Albert and Seattle before signing an entry-level contract with the Boston Bruins on May 4th of this year. During his time with the Providence Bruins he played in seven games and had one assist. Ryan hopes to one day tear up the ice in Boston, but for now this talented two-way defenseman will continue to make a name for himself in the AHL for the Providence Bruins.
“It was awesome,” said Button on his time in Providence, “it was a great experience. All of the older guys were really helpful and they showed us the ropes a little bit and by the end of the two weeks, I had felt like I had been there all year. That’s really a credit to them and the organization. I thought I played really well on top of that so it was a really great experience and I can’t wait for next year.”
Button was one of the fastest defensemen in attendance at the Bruins Development Camp, he also has the ability and hockey sense to be able to read plays and jump in front of the net when he needs to. He has no trouble carrying the puck up ice and making plays, between his time in the WHL last season and his time in Providence last season he racked up assists and five goals. But, Button knows that his defensive play comes first.
“I showed I can put up some numbers in the Western League and I am going to try to do the same in the American League, but at the end of the day I’m going to really focus on my defensive zone first. I need to make sure that the coaches trust me so they put me on an everyday shift, once I gain that trust I’m going to really work on my offensive game.”
Button has a bright future in the Bruins organization, but he knows there are a few thing that he can work on. With other talented young defenseman in the Bruins’ organization such as Steven Kampfer, David Warsofsky, and Matt Bartkowski, Button will have plenty of competition vying for a spot on the Bruins roster one day.
“You can tell it’s a winning culture just by the way they do things,” said Button, “I got a taste of it last year playing in those two rookie games, you can tell the fans love their physical play and they love a guy who can play tough on D. I think that’s good for me because it’s something I have to work on and if the fans like it, I’m going to want to do it. So working on my physical game is going to get me to the next level and hopefully the fans will like it as well.”
Ryan knows what he needs to work on to make it to the top, and with an organization the Boston Bruins, who will need defensive depth in the next few years, Button just may have a spot for himself under the bright lights of Boston.
“I just want to make a living out of it,” said Button on what he wants for his future, “I obviously want to be in the NHL, but if I could make a living playing the game I love, that would be a dream come true.”