Sports Spotlight: Ryan Taylor
BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Imagine you just got your driver’s license. You’re 16-years old and you move about a thousand miles from home to live with someone you do not know so you can play junior hockey.
That’s what Ryan Taylor did and as you’ll see in this week’s Sports Spotlight, Taylor’s road trip from St. Louis to Bismarck was the right thing to do.
The Bismarck Bobcats are a premiere NAHL organization first founded in 1997. Taylor was first taken by Bismarck at only 16 years old in 2018 and wasn’t sure what exactly he was getting himself into.
“It was pretty nerve wracking; I didn’t know what I was really getting into. But everyone here was nice, the coaches were nice, and they helped the young guys out, so it wasn’t too bad,” said Taylor.
After one year in Bismarck, Taylor was selected in the 2019 USHL draft by the Sioux City Musketeers. He says playing at that high level really helped his development.
Taylor: “It was great, that was my goal after my first year. So, getting to play at that higher level really taught me a lot to help me come back here this year.”
In 44 games this season, Taylor leads the Bobcats with 18 goals, also leading the team with 37 points. His head coach appreciates what he brings to the ice every night.
“He’s obviously a leader on this team, on and off the ice, but I think the big thing is just that line and that production he’s put up. Whether it’s the power play or the five-on-five, he’s a go-to guy for us every night,” said Layne Sedevie.
Taylor has had over 100 of those nights for the Bobcats already but at the same time it’s a sample size big enough to be able to reminisce a little bit.
“Any time the VFW Sportscenter is packed is a great time to play. Any of our special jersey nights, our military nights, are awesome,” said Taylor.
From first coming to Bismarck at 16, the now 20-year-old feels the decision to return to North Dakota was the best thing for him both on & off the ice.
Taylor said: “It’s been great. It was great to have some familiar faces when I came back, they were my friends my first year, so it was great to see them again. I think playing a year in the USHL really helped my confidence and helped me play better here.”
Taylor and the Bobcats are in second place in the NAHL’s Central Division. They play at first-place Aberdeen on Friday. The Wings come to Bismarck for a game on Saturday.
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