At the conclusion of his fourth season in the Western Hockey League, Ryan Button whet his blades for the professional ranks by signing with the P-Bruins and seeing action for each of the last seven games in 2010-11.
And unlike fellow late-season call-ups Jared Knight and Ryan Spooner, Button is old enough to bolt the Canadian major junior ranks and start fostering directly in the Black and Gold system.
2010-11 Highlights (With three teams)
· Scored a power-play goal and two assists in Prince Albert’s 9-3 win at Lethbridge Nov. 19
· Assisted on the game-winner and was on the ice for four goals in Prince Albert’s 5-1 win over the Everett Silvertips Dec. 11.
· Etched an assist in three of his final four games with Prince Albert before being traded to the Seattle Thunderbirds in January.
· Posted a cumulative plus-5 rating over three games in four nights (Feb. 23-26) for the Thunderbirds.
· Scored his first professional point with an assist in the P-Bruins 3-2 road win over Springfield April 9.
· Had a minus-3 rating in five separate Western League games, three for Prince Albert and two for Seattle.
· Finished with a minus-4 over 44 games with Prince Albert and again over 25 games with Seattle. (Although, in fairness, the majority of the Thunderbirds and Raiders finished with comparatively egregious ratings.)
· Held without a shot on goal for three consecutive AHL games after landing one SOG in each of his first three appearances with Providence.
Seeing as the parent Boston Bruins classify him as “in the system,” Button has some time to take before he thinks about so much as a matinee latte at the TD Garden. And apart from three established returnees plus an off-and-on AHLer in Alain Goulet, Providence has some depth to build up on defense.
Accordingly, head coach Bruce Cassidy should ask Button to step up right off the draw and waste no time building upon the trial tastes he got at the end of last season.