Ryan Minkoff was blessed with athleticism, perseverance, and an unquenchable passion for playing hockey. His journey to the pros against lofty odds was, as he says, “unconventional.”
Minkoff’s love for the game began in Minnesota, the State of Hockey, where his youth and high-school experiences were anything but ordinary. His suitcase always packed, he played for seven different hockey programs in a fourteen-year span. While Minkoff’s confidence wavered and was often challenged, his determination and passion stayed strong, and he found his way to the University of Washington to play in the unfamiliar world of club hockey. Despite discouraging circumstances, such as games in empty arenas starting well after midnight to hitchhiking home after a long road trip, Minkoff not only set records, captained the squad, and ran the club as the president, he also formed strong bonds with his coaches and teammates. Following an illustrious club career, Minkoff landed in the professional ranks of Finland, where—in the midst of nearly crashing a Zamboni, acting as the town’s Santa Claus, and sleeping at the rink—he truly discovered his gift of a lifetime in the game of hockey.
Thin Ice is an honest, witty, inspirational coming-of-age story. Ryan Minkoff’s debut memoir is for anyone who roots for an underdog whose dreams will not fade no matter the obstacles.
Ryan Minkoff is the founder and owner of 83, LLC, a global ice hockey agency representing players at the junior, college, and professional level. An economics and entrepreneurship graduate of the University of Washington, he became the first player from that school to play pro hockey with Finnish club Lapuan Virkiä—a signing that garnered the attention of Derek Jeter’s The Players’ Tribune. Outside the ice rink, he enjoys working with clients, golfing, hiking, and attending sporting events with his friends and family. He resides in Seattle.
“From the State of Hockey to the ACHA and Finnish minor leagues, a candid and compelling look into a very unknown side of the hockey world.”
—John Buccigross, anchor, ESPN’s SportsCenter
“Ryan’s story and the lessons that can be gleaned from it are relevant to anybody who has ever dreamed of being a professional athlete. Athleticism and talent will take you so far, but ultimately the most indispensable tool one can possess is passion. Ryan’s passion comes through strong here and will surely resonate with hockey fans and non-hockey fans alike.”
—Dan Treadway, editor, The Players’ Tribune
“Ryan’s frank and fascinating story brought back many memories of playing alongside him and reminded me why hockey is so special.”
—Jonny Brodzinski, forward, San Jose Sharks
“[Thin Ice is] more than a hockey book. Minkoff combines his passion and a never-say-die mentality with wit and humor for a great read.”
—Dan Cloutier, retired ten-year NHL goaltender