After college, some athletes want to continue their athletic career professionally, and many decide to go overseas to do so. Former Castleton University hockey goaltender Ryan Mulder took a different path.
He chose to stay in the United States and pursue a hockey career here. He now plays for the Witchita Thunder of the ECHL.
Mulder, who graduated from Castleton in 2018, currently holds records in multiple categories among Castleton’s goaltenders. He’s first in saves, save percentage, games played and games started.
His journey after Castleton began in the Southern Professional Hockey League with the Birmingham Bulls.
Then he went to the Federal Prospects Hockey League, where he played with the Elmira Enforcers before returning to the SPHL with the Quad City Storm and then the Peoria Rivermen, then back to Quad City before heading to the ECHL to play for the Thunder.
“It’s been a wild ride since graduating Castleton,” he said. “One of the biggest challenges is always being on the road and not having a home base.”
Playing time has been another issue for Mulder, seeing action in only 25 games since joining the Bulls during the 2017-18 season.
But there is one moment that stands out for Mulder during his journey.
“I got my first pro win in March, which is my birthday month, and I had my parents in attendance and the whole crowd sang me happy birthday,” he said.
With his family living in Canada, they don’t get to attend many of his games so this was a special moment for him, he said.
So what does the future hold for Mulder? He isn’t really sure.
Every hockey player’s dream is to make the NHL, but Mulder doesn’t know if he’ll get that far.
“Obviously the goal for me is the NHL but I’m not sure if that will happen. If it happens it would be absolutely amazing,” he said.