DEVELOPING: Denver Hockey to add NAHL defenseman for 2017-18

Photo credit: Rebekah Bing, NAHL.com

Earlier this evening, the NAHL’s Lone Star Brahmas announced on Twitter that defenseman Ryan Orgel is leaving the team and joining the top-ranked Denver Pioneers for the remainder of the 2017-18 season and beyond. There is no corresponding early departure or dismissal.

The 5’11”, 181 lbs El Segundo, California native is a talented defenseman who has tallied seven points on five goals and two assists in 11 games with the Brahmas. Last year, with the Wichita Falls Wildcats, he scored 31 points with 10 goals and 21 assists in 56 NAHL games.

“It’s a dream come true,” Orgel said via the Brahmas’ official website “It’s something I’ve been working my entire career for and I’m very excited to be joining such a prestigious program.”

Orgel will add to the Pioneers’ already incredible depth along the blue line that features Tariq Hammond, Michael Davies, and Blackhawks draft picks Ian Mitchell and Blake Hillman. With the concussion sustained by Adam Plant against North Dakota over the weekend and no timetable for his return, Orgel will certainly fit into Denver’s immediate blueline plans.

The timing of this move raised some eyebrows across the college hockey world. It’s always odd when a player is added in the middle of the season. When the player is added before Thanksgiving, the general assumption it’s to replace a player leaving college early. The initial speculation surrounded star forwards and NHL Draftees Henrik Borgström and Troy Terry and their potential early departures. However, no one is leaving the program early. Orgel isn’t replacing anyone on the roster.

“Denver has kept tabs on me for a few weeks and they’ve watched me over the course of the season and one thing led to another and everything fell into place nicely,” Orgel said.

Plant’s injury may have caused the Pioneers to move the process along more quickly, but either way, Orgel will quickly be an important piece for the Pioneers. He’ll give head coach Jim Montgomery another talented option to add to a defenseman corps that has shown itself to be a formidable offensive force but needs some work in the defensive zone.

Orgel could be on campus as soon as tomorrow (Wednesday) but there is no word when he’ll make his debut. DU is expected to make the move official in the coming days.

10 thoughts on “DEVELOPING: Denver Hockey to add NAHL defenseman for 2017-18”

  1. This news is Orgel’s signing is likely confirmation that the head injury to Adam Plant is serious and perhaps season-ending or maybe career-ending. It’s very rare to add college players to the roster during the season. I can’t remember the last time the Pios brought in a mid-season player. I do remember Derik Sheers was added in 1983 during the break, and I am sure there have been others over the years, but I can’t remember them.

    If this is the case, than this is a HUGE blow to Plant personally and to the Pioneers and their season. Plant is the Pioneers’ finest all-around defenseman, a senior leader, and his loss would be virtually impossible for DU to replace this season.

    For Orgel, he’s a 20 year old warm body who will likely see more bench time than playing time. But the story here should be about Plant and what his potential loss could be for the Pios…

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  2. What about the academics? The fall quarter is over. Unless he starts taking inter-term classes he won’t begin academically at DU until January.
    How can he join the team and play before even starting classes? Is he going to start playing in January??

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  3. Glad we have him on board. But also concerned about Plant. I think it’s premature to speculate about career ending injuries, but I guess you never know with concussions. Seems to me, that one could conclude that Plant won’t be available for at least a couple of months, or maybe the playoffs. But I hope I’m wrong, and wish him the best. In any case, welcome aboard to Orgel. Any news on whether that north dakota moron received additional discipline from the league?

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  4. If you listen to die hard North Dakota fans on the SiouxSports.com message board, a majority didn’t even believe the hit should be penalized at all, while some did concede that it should have been a two-minute interference call. None of them said it should have been a five-minute penalty with a game misconduct — the call that it turned out to be.

    Of course, we Pio fans will see it differently, as I am sure the ND fans would if it were their player who was knocked out of the game with a concussion and whose season/career may be jeopardized.

    Bottom line – I don’t think there will be more discipline assessed by the NCHC.

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    1. I think some UND fans’ argument was that it wasn’t malicious or intentional and therefore the 5 and game DQ was excessive and simply called as a result not the actual hit. That, and there was some question as to whether or not Smith even saw him when they collided. I was at the game and didn’t see it as I was following the puck so I’m not judging simply reiterating what Puck Swami has said. Also, any thoughts as to whether or not Plant may have been brought back too soon and he reaggrevated an existing injury? I wish him well and hope he’s able to return, he’s a heckuva hockey player.

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    2. I think some UND fans’ argument was that it wasn’t malicious or intentional and therefore the 5 and game DQ was excessive and simply called as a results, rather than based strictly on the play itself. That, and there was some question as to whether or not Smith even saw him when they collided. I was at the game and didn’t see it as I was following the puck so I’m not judging simply reiterating what Puck Swami has said. Also, any thoughts as to whether or not Plant may have been brought back too soon and he reaggrevated an existing injury? I wish him well and hope he’s able to return, he’s a heckuva hockey player.

      Like

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