Ontario Hockey League grad Ryan McDonough will start the 2014-15 season with the Odense Bulldogs in Denmark’s Metal Ligaen. McDonough has signed with Odense for one year after splitting 2013-14 between the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL and Valpellice in Italy’s LIHG.
Ryan McDonough – OHL
Ryan played four years in the Ontario Hockey League from 2004-05 to 2007-08. He was the fifth overall pick at the 2004 OHL Priority Selection by the Sudbury Wolves behind John Hughes, Matt Corrente, Jordan Staal and Ryan McInerney. McDonough played his first year with the Wolves and his final three with the Saginaw Spirit.
In 2005-06, he led the Spirit in goals and points with 39 and 88 while playing the full 68 game schedule. In his final season, he was behind Jack Combs for assists (44) and points (89) but led the team with 45 goals. His 45 goals tied him for fourth in the OHL with Taylor Hall of the Windsor Spitfires.
Over 258 regular season games during his Ontario Hockey League career, Ryan scored 133 and assisted on 151 for 284 points.
Ryan McDonough – Pro Hockey
Undrafted to the National Hockey League, McDonough has mostly played in Europe since junior. His time in North America has been limited to two games with the University of Western Ontario Mustangs in 2009-10 and eight games with the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL in 2013-14.
In Europe, McDonough has played in Austria’s EBEL, Germany’s 2.Bundesliga and Italy’s LIHG. Ryan has signed with Odense for the 2014-15 season.
Brad Gratton – Odense Head Coach
Behind the bench for Odense will be another OHL grad. Brad Gratton joins the club as head coach for the 2014-15 season after three years with Rodovre, also in Denmark. Gratton coached the Denmark Under 20 team at the 2013 World Juniors to a Bronze Medal in Division 1A.
Gratton played four years in the Ontario Hockey League from 1986-87 to 1989-90 with a long list of teams. Originally, he was the third overall pick by the Hamilton Steelhawks at the 1986 OHL Priority Selection behind Troy Mallette (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) and Jeff Ballantyne (Ottawa 67’s). Brad played for the Steelhawks, Kingston Canadians, Belleville Bulls, Kingston Raiders, Windsor Spitfires, London Knights and the Dukes of Hamilton.
Brad played pro hockey from 1991-92 to 2000-01 in the Colonial Hockey League, ECHL, WPHL and CHL. In Europe, he played in the United Kingdom, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
The team was promoted to the top tier for the 1991-92 season and has yet to win a championship. Odense has lost in the finals three times, the lastest in 2011-12. In 2013-14, the Bulldogs placed sixth in the nine team league and were an early quarter-final exit from the playoffs.
The club plays home games at Bryggeriet Verstfyen Arena, a 3,280 seat venue opened in 1999. Odense is the third largest city in Denmark with a metro population of around 190,000 and is located on the island of Funen.