2009-10: Jaynen Rissling played in 36 WHL games for the Calgary HItmen as a 16-year-old. He had 8 assists and was plus-seven with 19 penalty minutes. Calgary finished with the league’s best record and reached the Memorial Cup after winning the league playoff title. Rissling appeared in nine of 23 playoff games and was plus-seven; scoring 1 goal with 2 assists and 4 penalty minutes. Rissling dressed in one game during the Memorial Cup and had no points or penalty minutes. Calgary lost 5-4 in overtime to WHL rival and tournament host Brandon in the semifinal game.
2010-11: Rissling skated in 67 of 72 games for the HItmen in his second WHL season. Rissling’s minus-27 plus/minus was indicative of playing substantial minutes on a team that won just 20 games and had the league’s worst record. He scored 5 goals with 16 assists and was second on the team with 95 penalty minutes.
2011-12: Rissling was a physical force on the blue line for the Hitmen while contributing offensively. In 55 games he scored 5 goals with 18 assists and was plus-nine with a team-high 124 penalty minutes. Calgary returned to the top of the WHL standings, finishing second behind the Edmonton Oil Kings. In the five-game playoff series with Brandon, Rissling was minus-five with no points or penalty minutes. Ranked 135th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings, Rissling was selected by Washington in the seventh round (197th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
2012-13: Rissling continued to provide toughness and supplementary offense in his fourth season with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen. Leading Calgary in penalty minutes (122) for the second straight season, he scored 5 goals with a career-best 23 assists and was +35. The Hitmen finished second in the Central Division and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals against first-place Edmonton. Rissling had 6 assists and was +1 with 18 penalty minutes in 17 playoff games. He was with Washington’s AHL affiliate in Hershey during the AHL playoffs but did not appear in any games.
2013-14: Rissling attended the Washington Capitals training camp before returning to Calgary for an overage season in the WHL with the Hitmen. A team captain for Calgary, Rissling had career highs in goals and assists despite missing most of January with an injury. He scored 8 goals with 29 assists and was +4 in 54 regular season games. Rissling had 17 fewer penalty minutes than in the previous season but led Calgary in that category for the third straight season (105). The Hitmen finished first in the Central Division but lost to Kootenay in a six-game first-round playoff series. Rissling had 2 assists and was minus-2 with 12 penalty minutes in the series. Nashville acquired the rights to Rissling from Washington for a 7th round pick in the 2014 draft on April 19th and signed him to a three-year entry-level contract three days later.
2014-15: Rissling skated in five games with Nashville AHL affiliate Milwaukee in February, spending most of his first pro season with the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones. He had no points and was -2 with 4 penalty minutes playing for the Admirals. Rissling was third on the team with 76 penalty minutes despite appearing in just 37 games for Cincinnati. He scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was -4 for the Cyclones. Cincinnati finished fifth in the North Division, three points behind Wheeling for the final playoff spot.
Rissling is a big, strong defenseman with a lot of grit, leadership, and character on the ice. He has limited stick handling and passing skills but plays with passion. He is a physically imposing defenseman who loves to throw the body and drop the gloves. Rissing hits hard and likes to compete. His aggressiveness can sometimes cause him to be caught out of position.
Rissling attended development camp with the Predators in July and will push for a spot with Nashville AHL affiliate Milwaukee in 2015-16. Entering his second season of pro hockey, he is a hard-nosed defenseman who can provide supplementary offense at times. Rissling projects to being a second and third pairing defender capable of standing up for teammates at the NHL level. His skating and overall skill level will need to continue to progress for him to reach that potential.