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Former Dukes goalie signs professional league contract

jordan ruby 2

Former Dukes goalie Jordan Ruby playing in one of his first Brampton Beast games. Photo courtesy wellingtondukes.com [1]

By Sean McIntosh [2]

BELLEVILLE – A former Wellington Dukes [3] star goaltender has taken the next step in his hockey career.

Jordan Ruby, 24, who was the OJHL playoff MVP in 2011, signed with the Brampton Beast [4] of the ECHL [5] in mid-January.

The ECHL is the professional hockey league two tiers below the National Hockey League.

After his time in Wellington, he played professionally in Minnesota, had brief stops with two other ECHL teams and played in the Southern Professional Hockey League [6] in Alabama.

Debuting with Brampton was a scary moment for him, he said.

“With the Beast, it was my first start of the year so I was pretty nervous. I was able to play well for five of the games, and that got my confidence up,” he said.

So far in Brampton, Ruby has two wins, three losses and two ties with a .907 save percentage in seven starts. But, Ruby said, he wants to compete in larger leagues.

“I would like to play (at higher levels),” he said. “You got to keep proving yourself and make your name known at this level. I’m like a sponge for learning and I’m never done learning. If you want to stop doing that you’re retired. I love the game too much right now and I want to keep going as hard as I can.

Marty Abrams [7], the Dukes’ general manager and head coach, coached Ruby during his time in Wellington. Reaching the next tier is possible, Abrams said.

“He played here for two years and really left a huge impression both on our hockey club and community,” said Abrams. “The fact that he’s continuing his pro career doesn’t surprise anyone here in Prince Edward County. He always was a true professional the way he conducted himself on and off the ice here in Wellington.”

Wellington was lucky to have Ruby, he added.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have outstanding goaltending every year, but certainly Jordan was one of the best,” he said. “He was able to take us to the Royal Bank Cup [8], which was a huge accomplishment for him and the team. But certainly his work ethic and day-to-day approach separates him from the lot.”

There is a lot more work to do before taking the next step, said Colin Chaulk [9], Ruby’s coach in Brampton.

“(Seven) games is a cup of coffee right now and he needs to continue his play,” Chaulk said. “If he continues to be unbelievable every night, somebody will notice and give him a chance just like he got a chance in the ECHL. Eventually you end up where you belong, that’s what I believe.”

After joining the team on Jan. 13, Ruby has been “a rock” for the team, he said.

“In his first three games (he) really was unbelievable. We’ve had some struggles in the net this year and no one has really taken the cage and really instilled confidence in the guys. He really did that,” he said.

There has been some ups and downs for Ruby so far, said Chaulk, but he has made the most of his opportunity with the Beast.