The latest signing for the Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning is vastly experienced US-born defenceman Ryan Lannon, who moves from the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators.  Current Gladiators’ Head Coach Chuck Weber cites the player as “a stay-at-home defenseman who blocks shots and does the little things well”, Ryan now brings those skills to the Elite League for MK Lightning.

The 6’ 2” Massachusetts native, who was drafted in 2002 by Pittsburgh Penguins, is enjoying a career revival after a four year hiatus from the sport.  Coming to the decision last summer that he still had a passion for hockey, he then helped Atlanta to a fourth-placed league finish with the third highest plus-minus points of the team’s blue liners. 

Ryan’s career includes a spell with the US National Development Team then four seasons representing  the world famous Harvard University, where his NHL drafting came straight after his freshman season.

Following his studies he was signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins’ AHL affiliate team, Wilkes-Barrie Scranton Penguins – helping them to top their conference in his first and final seasons.  He was in exceptional company there, playing alongside the now famous NHL legend Marc-Andre Fleury.

Four more seasons of AHL followed his time at Wilkes-Barrie Scranton, before he moved to Europe – signing for Finnish Elite League team KalPa mid-season 2010.  The following year, Lannon was part of the KalPa team which won the championship.

During his career sabbatical he coached at the Red Bull academy in Austria then worked for Paul Vincent – now Head Skills Instructor at the NHL Florida Panthers.

Ryan is already looking forward to his first taste of the British game:

“Coach McKay has an infectious enthusiasm for the challenge ahead, and playing in England affords me a unique opportunity to combine my love of hockey with travel and higher education. I appreciate the opportunity provided to me and look forward to meeting my fellow teammates and Lightning fans in September.”

Ryan Lannon’s warm up, home and away jerseys are now available on our Own and Loan Scheme which sees your name on the back of his jersey for the season.  The match-worn jersey is then presented to its owner by the player at the end of the 2018-19 season, a unique memento of the player’s performances in the Elite League!  For full details and to apply, email store@mk-lightning.co.uk.

For an unusual but cost-effective way to promote your business, join the Lightning as Ryan Lannon’s corporate sponsor. This package includes your business logo on the player’s jersey and announced at the start of every game he plays, as well as every time he scores a goal or assist during a match.  Contact our Commercial Manager Sarah Jane Smyth for information by emailing sarah-jane@mk-lightning.co.uk.