Landmark partnership brings NHL ice hockey star to Glasgow

15 December 2017

Andy McLaughlin, Adam Brace, Ryan Potulny, Dr Jeanine Gregersen-Hermans

Andy McLaughlin, Adam Brace, Ryan Potulny, Dr Jeanine Gregersen-Hermans

A top professional NHL ice hockey player from North America has been attracted to the Braehead Clan thanks to a new partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University.

The new deal between the University and Glasgow’s only professional ice hockey team has resulted in players from across the pond choosing to combine their sporting ambitions with advancing their education. 

In a bid to secure top flight players with competitive packages, the partnership has secured two elite ice hockey professionals Ryan Potulny and Adam Brace to the Clan. Braehead Clan described it as a “landmark partnership” with huge potential benefits.  

American professional player Ryan Potulny joined the Clan this season from EHC Linz in Austria. Ryan has had an impressive career since turning professional while studying at the University of Minnesota and is a former player for NHL's Philadelphia Flyers. He is combining his love for sport in Scotland with a postgraduate qualification in BA (Hons) in International Marketing at the University’s Glasgow School for Business and Society.  

He said: “It’s a huge advantage to be able to complete my education and play hockey, as you can’t play forever. One of the things that brought me here is the city of Glasgow, its people, and the University, which looked excellent. That was a big factor in coming here to the Clan as well as the team which has been great with us.  It’s a wonderful opportunity for players though it can be tough at times with games and classes each requiring a significant amount of time - it’s a balancing act to make sure you can do both aspects, and do it right, but I’ve had great support from teaching staff and our coaches. Ryan is joined by fellow professional Adam Brace, who hails from Ontario, Canada, and is studying an MSc in International Business Management.

Clan Commercial Director Andy McLaughlin said: “This partnership is a massive step forward for the Clan organisation and will provide huge assistance to Coach John Tripp as he looks to recruit in the future. GCU allows us far greater scope in attracting players particularly from North America. It’s attractive to them to come to Glasgow and to combine their studies. In addition to the provision of these study places we will be working closely with the University and its students on a range of projects over the next few months. This is a landmark announcement for the Club and will bring many benefits to the whole organisation.”  

Pro Vice-Chancellor International and Vice-Principal Dr Jeanine Gregersen-Hermans welcomed the partnership. She said: “We have created a unique partnership which supports the international reputation of both the University and Braehead Clan. The partnership also has the potential to open up new opportunities for outreach in the local communities in the wider Glasgow region. In recent years, the Clan has established the Clan Community Foundation. This has seen coaches and players visit an estimated 30,000 children to date, with a focus on life skills. This initiative is in direct alignment with the Caledonian Club, the University’s multi award-winning widening participation and community engagement initiative, which works across our local communities in Glasgow, London, and New York. “We are very pleased to have former NHLer Ryan Potulny and the Canadian winger Adam Brace on our Glasgow campus this year. I wish them lots of success in completing their postgraduate studies with us.“