NEW HAVEN, Conn. – His teammates voted him the squad’s best passer the last two seasons. Yesterday they selected him to be the 2017-18 team captain. Ryan Hitchcock, a forward from Manhassett, N.Y., will be assisting Yale Hockey teammates more than ever.
“I can truly say this is the greatest honor I have ever received. To be part of such an illustrious group of men is a truly unbelievable, and I won’t take a day of it for granted,” said Hitchcock, who has earned a varsity letter all three seasons at Yale. “To have my best friends and peers make this vote of confidence in me means everything.”
Hitchcock, the 2014-15 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, was having his most productive campaign last winter when an injury ended his season. He was leading the team with 16 assists, including a career-best three helpers during a win over Rensselaer in December.
The Bulldogs sorely missed Hitchcock’s play-making skills in the second half of 2016-17, but he was around the team as often as he could for the stretch run for the post season.
“Following three phenomenal captains (Tommy Fallen, Mitch Witek, John Hayden) makes it all the more special. They have all taught me a ton about what it takes to be a Yale Hockey player and a man,” said the Elis’ new team leader, the second straight forward to earn that honor.
Hitchcock, who replaces Hayden, the current Chicago Blackhawks forward, has significant international hockey experiences, including winning two medals at world championship tournaments.
He earned a bronze for team USA at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships in Finland, while taking gold on a U18 squad at the 2014 world event. He scored the game-winning goal against Sweden in the 2014 semifinal while recording 23 points in 20 games for the U18 team.
The rising Eli senior is a dynamic offensive threat who has 49 points in 72 college games. That includes a goal in a 2016 NCAA Tournament contest against UMass-Lowell and many needle-threading, replay-looking passes.
Hitchcock got a fast start in collegiate hockey leading all 2014-15 Bulldog newcomers with 15 points and earning the Martin Dwyer III Award as Yale’s rookie MVP. He skated in all 33 games that season.
Before coming to New Haven, Hitchcock played with the U.S. National Team Development Program while attending Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Mich. He notched 26 goals and 82 points over two seasons and 109 games. Also part of his two winters in Michigan was an appearance in the 2013 All-American Prospects Game.