Thunderbirds add Devine via trade with Watertown

Winston-Salem, NC – The Carolina Thunderbirds added to their blueline Monday afternoon, sending Chris Paulin to Watertown in exchange for defenseman Ryan Devine. In his 5th FPHL season, Devine secured 2nd Team All-Star honors and his second Commissioner’s Cup Championship.

“Adding his leadership and championship pedigree to our team is huge,” said Head Coach Garrett Rutledge. “Ryan is an outstanding competitor and plays the game hard. He will absolutely be relied upon to lead our group on the back end.”

The 2021-2022 season was a busy one for Devine. The Wayne, PA native saw action across three different leagues, including his ECHL debut with the Fort Wayne Komets. In eight games of SPHL action, Devine tallied four points and a hearty 78 penalty minutes in Vermillion County.

“We’re very excited to have Ryan here in Carolina,” said Director of Hockey Ops Cary Ross. “He brings a level of toughness that we’ve spent a lot of time looking for.”

The FPHL was Devine’s home for much of last season, culminating in a Commissioner’s Cup. In 32 games with the Wolves, he scored four goals, 23 assists, and 27 points while leading all Watertown blueliners with 0.84 points per game. His 166 penalty minutes in 2021-2022 lead the team and ranked him 3rd in the FPHL.

“I loved playing against Carolina and being hated by the fans, but now it’s time to switch roles and get them on my side,” said Devine. “I figured Carolina was the way to go this season and I’m excited to play for this city.”

Devine will be wearing #23 when the Thunderbirds start the season in Port Huron. The season opener against the Prowlers will begin at 7:05pm on October 21st.