September 21, 2012

Former Maine standout Hegarty signs with AHL's Admirals

By Jesse Connolly

The AHL's Norfolk Admirals signed six players to contracts on Friday, including former University of Maine star Ryan Hegarty (Arlington, Mass.). 

The Black Bears were 9-1-2 when defenseman Ryan Hegarty recorded a point last season. (Dave Arnold Photography)

Hegarty, 22, shined during his four seasons with the Black Bears, which he capped off this past spring. As a senior, the defenseman had a career-high 14 points, appearing in 40 games.

For his collegiate career, Hegarty finished with 4-25-29 totals in 123 contests for Maine.

Drafted 113th overall by the Ducks in 2008 after a solid, two-year stint with the U.S. National Development Team, Hegarty signed an amateur tryout contract with what’s now the Ducks’ former farm team, the Syracuse Crunch, in late March.

The Bay State native practiced with the Crunch, but did not skate in any pro games. During the offseason, Anaheim and Tampa Bay swapped affiliates, with the Lightning taking over the Crunch and the Ducks aligning with the Admirals.

At the time of his signing to an amateur tryout, Hegarty said his hope was to sign a new deal with the Ducks’ farm team this fall.

His coach at Maine, Tim Whitehead, believes the young rearguard is bound to succeed in the pros.

“I firmly believe he was the best shutdown defenseman in [Hockey East] this season,” Whitehead told the Bangor Daily News in March. “He was certainly an unsung hero behind our team’s success.”

The Admirals will begin their regular season on Oct. 12 with the first of back-to-back tilts against the Worcester Sharks in Norfolk.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.