Ryan Hunter has been with the Wolf Pack longer than any of his current teammates.
The Squamish, BC product first put on the grey and blue during the 2020-21 season. The season lasted three games for North Vancouver due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Hunter still has fond memories from that time. “We weren’t sure if we were going to have games; we were just practicing all year but finally got the opportunity to play, and it was pretty special,” he said.
Hunter admits that although he wasn’t given many opportunities to play when he first started with the Wolf Pack, he still decided to work as hard as possible when opportunities arose. “Making sure you’re doing the little things right on and off the ice,” he added. Over the past four seasons, the left-shot forward has earned the reputation of being one of the best two-way centres in the Pacific Junior Hockey League. “I just try to do my part. The coaches always say that ‘D’ comes first, so I try to be strong in the D-zone and offensively minded, as well.”
Ryan has spent many hours driving from Squamish, where his family lives, to North Vancouver for games and practices over the past seasons. “Carpooling with some of the guys over the years makes it fun. The drive hasn’t been bad,” he said. Hunter has found a place to live this season with his Whistler teammate Anthony Reimer. “Living down here and being five minutes from the rink is nice. It eliminates the drive, so that’s been good,” he added. The support from friends and family has meant a lot for the alternate captain, and his parents show up to almost all of his games. Ryan may have been able to avoid the daily rides to Squamish, but his friends and family still have to do it! Hunter enjoys rollerblading and going to the gym in the off-season, “there are some nice spots in Squamish,” he explained.
The 2003-born forward credits his success to his parents, teammates, and coaches. “I’ve had countless teammates over the years of playing hockey for so long now,” said Hunter. Playing with different players on different teams has been one of his most significant memories of being with the Wolf Pack. “I’ve seen lots of guys come in and out of the team, and I’ve enjoyed playing with them,” he added. Hunter admits that personal injuries are one thing that motivates him to play as hard as he can every night. “It’s pretty difficult watching games from the stands when all the guys are out playing games, so that’s something that has fuelled me for sure.”
Winning a championship is on the top of his mind, with his final season in the PJHL starting to end. “I’ve been here three years, and you think it could be your last every year, but this year definitely is. I want to make a run with this group of guys, some of them who have been here for two or three years, as well,” Hunter claimed.
Hunter has been an alternate captain with the team for the past three seasons, and as a quiet guy, he lets his play do the talking. Ryan has put up 137 points in 125 combined regular season and playoff games, and he wants fans to remember him “as a hard worker and a leader on the ice.”