2008-09: Harrison Ruopp skated in 36 games for the Regina Pat Canadians in Saskatchewan and had 1 assist with 46 PMs. He had 1 assist with 4 PMs in five playoff games.
2009-10: Ruopp played in 33 games for the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders as a 16-year-old and was -15 with 38 PMs. The Raiders failed to reach the playoffs, finishing fifth in the East Division. Ruopp was selected to play for Canada West in the 2010 U17 World Hockey Challenge and was scoreless with 2 PMs in five games.
2010-11: Ruopp appeared in 54 of 72 games for Prince Albert in his second WHL season. He had 9 assists and was +8 with 98 PMs. The Raiders reached the playoffs despite a sub-.500 record and in the six-game series with Saskatoon Ruopp was -7 with no points and 9 PMs. Ranked 102nd amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings, he was selected by Phoenix in the third round (84th overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft.
2011-12: Ruopp played in a career-high 62 games in his third season with the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders. He scored 2 goals with 7 assists. One of four defensemen to top 100 penalty minutes, Ruopp was third on the Raiders with 127. He finished minus-23 for a Raiders team that finished with the league’s worst record. Ruopp was obtained by Pittsburgh from Phoenix along with goaltender Marc Cheverie in exchange for forward Zybnek Michalek in June, 2012.
2012-13: Ruopp returned to Prince Albert for a fourth season and was the team leader in penalty minutes and had a career-high 16 assists. He skated in 65 games for the Raiders and was +11 while scoring 1 goal and accumulating 132 penalty minutes. Prince Albert was one of the big turnaround stories in major junior hockey, finishing second in the East Division with 33 points more than the previous season. The Raiders were swept by Red Deer in the first round and in four playoff games Ruopp was -2 with no points and 4 penalty minutes. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with Pittsburgh in April of 2013 and spent time with the Penguins AHL affiliate but did not play in any games.
2013-14: Slowed by an early season injury that kept him off the ice until his season debut with the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers in November, Ruopp split his first pro season between the Nailers and Pittsburgh AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Making his debut with the AHL’s Penguins in December and shuffling between the two clubs, he appeared in 21 AHL regular season games and one playoff contest and was -6 with no points and 36 penalty minutes. The Penguins finished second in the East Division and reached the AHL Eastern Conference finals for the second straight season. Ruopp played 19 games for the Nailers and was +5 with 3 assists and 42 penalty minutes.
Ruopp is a physical defenseman who is most notable on the ice for his bone crunching checks. He has a defensive-first attitude and a tough-as nails disposition. Ruopp plays a simple game in his own zone and prides himself on being difficult to play against. Offensively he is limited but Ruopp is good enough with the puck to send it quickly up ice and out of danger. He will need to continue to refine his game, particularly his zone coverage and gap control, but has the toolbox to be a shutdown defenseman at the professional level.
Ruopp will probably start the 2015-16 season for the Penguins AHL affiliate, but could start in the ECHL given the lack of games he has logged over the past two years. Ruopp projects as a physical, depth defenseman.