A week after the Colorado Avalanche announced they have re-signed defenseman Ryan Graves to another one-year contract, the Yarmouth. N.S. native was back in his hometown working with another group of hockey players.
Graves is running his first-ever one-week hockey school in Yarmouth. The school got underway Monday, July 15 and runs to Friday, July 19, and offering skill development to novice, atom, peewee and bantam players.
Graves says his own experience playing minor hockey in Yarmouth – and particularly the distance in having to travel to games and hockey camps – made him decide to do a camp in his hometown for minor hockey players. When he first announced he would be running a camp, Graves told the Tri-County Vanguard he never forgot the distance he and his family would travel for week-long hockey schools in Halifax or PEI when he was growing up. Those trips always stuck with him because he knows it was something not everyone could do. Beyond the camp registration fee itself was the added cost of meals, the hotel, the cost of travel, etc.
“It’s expensive to go away for a week-long hockey camp,” he said. “So, I wanted to bring a high-level camp to Yarmouth.”
Graves’ hockey school started a week after the Avalanche announced they are keeping Graves around. On Monday, July 8, the Colorado Avalanche announced that the NHL team has re-signed the 24-year-old defenseman for a one-year contract. Graves was acquired by Colorado during a February 2018 trade.
During the 2018-2019 season, Graves played in 26 regular season games with the NHL club. He had three goals and two assists. He made his NHL debut on Dec. 27, 2018, when he was called up for an Avalanche game versus the Vegas Knights. On Jan. 4, Graves played in his fifth NHL game – this time against the team that first drafted him to the NHL in 2013, the New York Rangers. Not only did Graves experience his first NHL win with the Avalanche against the Rangers, he also scored his first career NHL goal, unassisted, in the third period.
In addition to lacing up with the Avalanche during the last hockey season, Graves also played 32 regular season games with the AHL’s Colorado Eagles. He had two goals and seven assists with his AHL team.