I was so excited to see the press release about professional hockey returning to Rio Rancho! Thank you to the ownership for their vision in bringing this wonderful game back to the Rio Rancho Events Center.

The ECHL is a great league to bring to our home town. There are essentially 3 tiers to professional hockey in the United States – the NHL (National Hockey League) is the top level. The AHL (American Hockey League) is the next level and the ECHL is the next level after that. There are hundreds of players in the history of the league that have made it to the NHL. For those who went to the Scorpions in years past, I think we will find it will be similar type of skill level and type of play which was very exciting and entertaining.

If you haven’t had a chance to go to a hockey game at the Rio Rancho Events Center, this new team will be a wonderful chance to give the game a try. Hockey is amazing to watch live. I think you will be so impressed with the speed, passion and physical nature of the game. I enjoyed the Scorpions and Mustangs when they played at the Rio Rancho Events Center, as it is a wonderful place to watch a game and appreciate the skill of the players.

Part of the fun of having a professional team at the minor league level is having it be aligned with the next two levels up – the AHL and NHL. It is exciting to see a player get called up to the next level and follow their progress to their ultimate dream making it to the National Hockey League. It will be interesting to find out our team affiliation.

October 2023 can’t come soon enough! I welcome the Raptors to Rio Rancho!

Mark Ryerson
Rio Rancho