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Topeka Tarantulas sign player

July 7, 2004 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Topeka Tarantulas News Release

Topeka, Kansas: July 7, 2004 – The Topeka Tarantulas of the Central League have signed 20-year-old rookie forward/defenseman, Ryan Nissen, head coach Joe Coombs announced today.

Last season Nissen, 6’2”, 220 lbs, scored 10 goals and added 13 assists for 23 points in 45 games for the Miramichi Timberwolves of the Maritime Junior Hockey League. Nissen also sat out 110 minutes of penalty time. During ten playoff games the Perth-Andover, New Brunswick native had two assists and collected six penalty minutes.

Nissen, who was judged the strongest player in the Maritime Junior Hockey League, would usually begin games on left wing but would shift to defense in the third period.

According to Nissen’s father, Glenn, recruiters from the University of Vermont compared Ryan to Philadelphia Flyer and former Catamount John LeClair.

Nissen, who was the first player ever drafted by Miamichi, sees himself as a physical team player. He feels that power skating lessons have greatly enhanced his game.

Nissen also said “I played a lot of soccer and that helps me keep my wind”. He spends two hours each evening working out in a gym in his hometown.

According to Glenn Nissen “Ryan fought a lot his first two years in junior hockey, but wasn’t challenged much his final two seasons”. The elder Nissen went on to say “he (Ryan) is left-handed and that surprised a lot of players during fights”.

Competing with talented professionals is nothing new for the Nissen family; Glenn played amateur baseball in New Brunswick with Kansas City Royals outfielder Matt Stairs.

The addition of Nissen brings the number of players signed by Coombs to eight.

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