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Ryan Cruthers making difference on and off the ice

Published On: Jan 15 2014 10:20:43 PM CST

Ryan Cruthers has played very well in his return to the Royals. But he's doing even better in another aspect of his hockey life.

SPRING TOWNSHIP -

Royals forward Ryan Cruthers has played well since his return to the pro ranks. He's currently third on the team in points and is a part of the most productive line on the team. However, that may not be the most productive part of his hockey life.

Cruthers is also the Director of Ice Hockey at Body Zone and coach of the Junior Royals teams. For as much as Cruthers likes to play the game, he enjoys coaching and being around the kids even more.

He has around 80 youngsters learning to play the game, spread among five travel teams. The program continues to grow, and Cruthers expects the numbers to double next year.

Cruthers says the grind of being both a player and coach is not bad because he's so passionate about it. In fact, he passes on some of the things he learns under Larry Courville to his Junior Royals teams. His players are always excited to receive that kind of training.

A player-coach is a real rarity, and he is certainly the only one in the region who is actively playing pro.

The Royals return to action Friday at home against Toledo.