(left) Ryan Dingle will report to the AHL Portland Pirates and play for legendary DU Alum Kevin Dineen who coaches the team
University of Denver junior Ryan Dingle has signed a professional contract today with the Anaheim Ducks, DU sources said.
Dingle, who grew up in Steamboat Springs and Littleton, led the Pioneers in goal scoring the past two seasons. He had 27 goals in 2005-06 and 22 this season.
"Ryan has developed into an outstanding two-way hockey player," DU head coach George Gwozdecky said. "We wish him the best of luck in his pursuit of a career in the National Hockey League."
Dingle finished his three-year DU career with 98 points on 55 goals and 43 assists in 121 games. He netted two career hat tricks and finished his career ranked third all-time at DU with six career shorthanded goals and 14 career game-winning goals.
He helped the Pioneers capture their seventh NCAA National Championship in 2004 and also helped the team to one WCHA regular-season title, one WCHA Final Five title and two Wells Fargo Denver Cup championships. DU posted a 74-39-9 (.643) record during Dingle's three-year tenure.
He will become the fourth DU player in the past two years to leave school early for the pros. Defenseman and captain-to-be Brett Skinner signed with Vancouver in the summer of 2005. Defenseman Matt Carle and center Paul Stastny signed a year ago with San Jose and Colorado, respectively.
Dingle, who will be 23 next week, is an undrafted free agent, so he was free to negotiate with any team. After completing the school year, he will join an NHL club that has had success grooming undrafted college stars.
Ducks first-line forwards Andy McDonald (Colgate) and Chris Kunitz (Ferris State) also were bypassed during their draft-eligible years of 18-20 years old.