Ryan Watson

Ryan Watson


Cambridge Ontario

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









7th round (191st overall), 2007


175 lbs.

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2006-07: Watson scored 27 goals with 29 assists with 55 PIM in 37 games for Cambridge. He was particular dangerous in specialty situations, scoring 8 times on the power play and 5 short-handed goals. Watson committed to playing college at Western Michigan in the CCHA.

2007-08: Watson joined older brother Cam at Western Michigan and saw action in a variety of roles as a freshman for the Broncos. He scored 4 goals with 4 assists and was -3 with 16 PIM for a Broncos team that won just eight games and finished last in the CCHA.

2008-09: Watson’s sophomore season saw slight improvement for Western Michigan as the Broncoes escaped the basement of the CCHA, finishing in a seventh-place tie with Nebraska-Omaha in the 12-team league. Watson again played primarily a defensive role for the Broncos, who relied on a tight-checking style to keep games close. Watson scored 4 goals with 2 assists and was -10 with 22 PIM.

2009-10: Watson’s career took a step backwards in his junior year. He was frequently a healthy scratch on a team that finished last in the CCHA for the second time in three seasons and replaced coach Jim Culhane with former Indiana Ice (USHL) coach Jeff Blashill in April. In 20 games, he scored 2 goals, the first of which did not come until February 26, and was -4 with 10 PIM.

Talent Analysis

Watson, as with most seventh-round picks, was a long shot pick based largely on his height and physical makeup. The hope was that time spent in college would allow him to develop physically, hone his technical skills and develop a better understanding of tactical hockey. That has not appeared to be the case thus far. After showing some promise as a penaltky killer and in defensive situations in his first two seasons, Watson has yet to display much offensive potential and has appeared to stagnate in a college program that has been among the weakest in college hockey during his first three seasons.


Coach Jeff Blashill takes over at Western Michigan and has a reputation for getting the most out of his players and allowing them to reach their potential. This might be the last hope for Watson, who has done little thus far to indicate he has a shot to one day play in the NHL. He will need a Herculean effort as a senior to impress the Panthers enough to receive a contract offer next spring. Realistically, Watson's pro career may be at the lower levels of minor league hockey or in Europe.