Ryan Hastings has found himself in a situation he was not expecting. Hastings had no intention of coming to a university this season.
That changed, however, when he was a member of the AAA Blue Jackets. In a game against his former team, the Esmark Stars, Hastings took a weird hit. The result of the blow was a torn labrum in his shoulder, an injury that requires surgery.
From there he made the decision to start looking at colleges to attend for this upcoming season.
“I came here and fell in love with the campus,” Hastings said. “I talked to the coaches, and it seemed like a good fit.”
The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, native spent time with the Stars and the Blue Jackets before joining Ohio this season. When he was with Esmark, he played alongside fellow Bobcats J.T. Schimizzi and Blake Rossi.
“It’s so much nicer to know a couple of guys on the team and have some familiar faces,” Hastings said.
Hastings’ dad played at a young age that is a significant factor on why his fandom started so early. Hockey was something he simply grew up with, and the sport was always one of the main things in their household. As a result, he has played hockey since he was six.
Even though Hastings, 18, played in Columbus for a chunk of his youth career, he still holds to his native roots.
“I’ll always be a Pittsburgh fan,” Hastings said with a smile.
Crosby is not the only player that Hastings enjoys watching. He tries to model his playing style based off Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, one of the best in the game.
Hastings hopes to replicate their success, but at the American Collegiate Hockey Association level. His expectations are high, but he’s taking a team-first mentality in his first season at Ohio.
Hastings has shown he has the offensive capabilities to help Ohio. He’s one of 11 freshmen on the Bobcats this season one of eight defensemen on the team. It’s obvious that first-year head coach Cole Bell will have to rely on newcomers this season, and Hastings is ready for the challenge.
A fresh start awaits him, and he’s eager to see how high he can go in his first year in a new home.
“I’ve kind of got an open mind,“ Hastings said. “We’ve got a good group of guys. We just trust Bell’s systems and see where that takes us.”
Hastings is one of 11 freshmen on the Bobcats this season one of eight defensemen on the team. The Bobcats will rely heavily on their freshmen this season.