The Lakeshore Canadiens would like to welcome to the team 17-year-old forward Michael Ruttinger.
by Rob Benneian
Ruttinger, a LaSalle native had been playing for the Jr. B Vipers, where he posted two goals and five points in 24 games.
“The main thing we’re getting is a young hockey player with an extremely high hockey IQ. He’s going to be able to play all positions, all areas of the rink, and he’ll get the opportunity to play a whole bunch of minutes,” says Canadiens general manager Mark Seguin. “He’s going to work on the things that he needs to do to make him an everyday Jr. B player, and we’ll get him ready for the Vipers for next year.”
The 5’7” centre posted 15 goals and 38 points in 42 games a season ago with the Midget Major AAA Windsor Jr. Spitfires, where he skated with fellow Canadiens forward Jarrett Tazzman.
While some might overlook the diminutive Ruttinger, Seguin is not part of that group.
“It’s not a factor to me,” Seguin says. “He’s extremely smart, he’s got a work ethic that’s second to none, and to me, his heart his 20 feet high. I’m not worried about his size at all.”
Ruttinger, like Tazzman who joined the Canadiens in December, was expected to be with the Canadiens this season but earned a spot on the Vipers with a strong performance in training camp.
The Vipers recent addition of Daniel Beaudoin forced them to part with a player to stay under the roster limit.
The Canadiens helped develop current Vipers forward Liam MacDougall (21 goals and 43 points in 33 games with LaSalle this year), in his rookie junior hockey season one year ago.
Ruttinger will be in the lineup, wearing jersey number 17, when the Canadiens – winners of five of their last six (5-0-1-0) – host the Essex 73’s Friday night at the Atlas Tube Centre.
Game time is 7:05.
Tickets are available at the gate ($8 adult, $5 student/senior, $3 youth, children under 6 get in free).