Only a few months removed from his promising rookie campaign, Ryan Cramer has re-signed with the Tulsa Oilers for the upcoming 2012-13 season.
Cramer, who spent much of last season on the Oilers top line, finished his first year of pro hockey with 17 goals and 21 assists. The Minnesota native and Bemidji State University product was a key contributor on the Oilers powerplay often showcasing his ability to find open ice and unleash his cannon-like slapshot.
"I wanted to come back because I think we have a chance to be an even better team than last year," Cramer said. "I'd like to have a better offensive output for myself and I think our team will have lofty goals as well."
"It's very important for us to have Ryan returning," said Oilers Head Coach Bruce Ramsay. "He's an immensely talented young player who is only going to get better. Last season was a great starting point for him and I expect his offensive output to continue to rise."
A 6'2" 210-pound forward, Cramer signed an amateur contract with the Oilers at the end of the 2010-11 regular season and appeared in three playoff games. Last season, the 25-year old was one of several Oilers rookies to make their mark in the Central Hockey League. Cramer finished tied for 12th in the rookie scoring race and recorded ten multiple point games including four-point efforts against Arizona on November 22 (1 goal, 3 assists) and Rio Grande Valley on February 12 (4 assists).
Cramer suited up for 57 games last season and his value to the team was never more apparent than when the right winger was sidelined. In the nine contests played without Cramer in the lineup, the Oilers were 2-7-0.
"No question we're a more dangerous team when Ryan Cramer is on the ice," remarked Ramsay. "He's a gifted goal scorer and playmaker, a guy the opposition really has to keep an eye on at all times."
"I missed a few games last season and I went through a slump in the second half, but I think those experiences were valuable for me," said Cramer. "Now I know what it takes to play a full season, I know what I have to do to prepare for the schedule and the road trips and I think it's going to give me an advantage going into this season."
Before embarking on his professional career, Cramer spent three years in the junior ranks. He played for the Fargo-Morehead Jets (NAHL) and helped lead the Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL) to a regular season title in 2006-07. As a sophomore at Bemidji State, Cramer was part of the Beavers squad that advanced to the school's first Frozen Four.