Cruthers returning to Royals

Reading, Pa. – The Reading Royals, ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League and Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League, announced that the team has agreed to terms with forward Ryan Cruthers.

Cruthers, who hails from Farmington, N.Y., will be returning for his fifth season with the Royals. Last year, he led the team with 56 points (16g-40a) and registered 42 penalty minutes in 53 games. Cruthers, who came out of retirement to join the Royals in early December, ended up tied for 18th in the overall league scoring race. At the conclusion of the regular season, Cruthers was bestowed with the Royals’ Offensive Player of the Year Award to become the first player in team history to win that award three times. He recorded two points (0g-2a) in five playoff games for Reading last year.

Cruthers holds just about every possible career offensive record for the Royals. He is the team’s all-time career scoring leader with 223 points in 212 games (which is also a team record). His 71 goals is tied with Olivier Labelle for the team all-time lead; his 152 assists are 39 more than the closest player to him (Yannick Tifu); and he has generated more shots on goal (626) than any other player in team history. Cruthers is also the team’s all-time leading scorer in playoffs, piling on 34 points in 29 career playoff games with the Royals.

Cruthers, who has led his team in scoring in four of his prior six seasons as a pro, has recorded a total of 346 points (128g-218a) and 477 penalty minutes in 399 career games. He has tallied 339 points (125g-214a) in 363 career ECHL games.

Prior to turning pro, Cruthers played two seasons of college hockey for the U.S. Military Academy, where he won the Outstanding Freshman Award before transferring to Robert Morris University. While at RMU, Cruthers had two spectacular seasons, which culminated with being selected as College Hockey America’s Player of the Year in 2008.