Two Rams off to NHL camps

This article first appeared on on September 10, 2014.

TORONTO — The Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team will have one current and one former player join National Hockey League (NHL) prospect camps this weekend.

Leading scorer from 2013-14, Jamie Wise, has been named to the Chicago Blackhawks rookie tournament roster, while new recruit Keevin Cutting will suit up on defence for the Florida Panthers.

“Scott Luce (director of scouting) from the Florida Panthers called me over a month ago asking me if I wanted to play with the rookie team. Obviously, I jumped on it right away,” Cutting said following Rams practice on Tuesday.

Cutting, a native of Bracebridge, Ont., is coming over from the University of New Brunswick. In one season with the Varsity Reds, Cutting played in 27 games tallying seven points.

Wise is coming off a career season with the Rams where he put up 45 points in 26 games. His season earned him OUA first-team all-star, CIS second-team All-Canadian and the team’s most valuable player awards.

For Cutting, this was not his first run-in with the Panthers organization.

Following his five-year Ontario Hockey League (OHL) career with the Owen Sound Attack where he captained the team and set a franchise record for games played (374) he received a phone call with a potential opportunity.

“During the summertime they told me that potentially I would be going to camp. But, I got the unfortunate phone call of not being able to go,” the 21-year-old said.

“I wasn’t expecting a phone call this past summer but I guess they watched me play and liked what they saw and gave me a call.”

His hockey resume has been impressive so far, including a gold medal for Ontario at the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and an OHL championship in 2011.

Should Cutting make it past the Panthers rookie camp stage, he would be once again teamed up with Ontario teammate from 2009 and third overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Erik Gudbranson.

Cutting still has aspirations of playing professional, although says his focus is on Ryerson and playing with the Rams in 2014-15.

“I like the Rams because, you know, they’re an up and coming team. I can see a lot of potential in them,” he said.

The Blackhawks tournament will take place from Sept. 13-16 in London, Ont. against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators.

Florida will also play in a four-team tournament in Nashville, Tenn. this weekend against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators.

The Rams start their pre-season schedule this Friday on the road against the Western Mustangs. Game time is 7 p.m.