By Justin Walters
After five seasons with the Ryerson Rams men’s hockey team, goaltender Taylor Dupuis has signed a professional contract with the Bisons de Neuilly-sur-Marne in France.
Dupuis joined the Rams in the 2015-16 season after playing in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for the previous three seasons. He made an immediate impact at Ryerson, playing 15 games in his rookie season and posting a .903 save percentage.
After graduating last year with a degree in sport media, Dupuis was unsure what the future would look like for his hockey career. His final season with the Rams was a tough one as he battled a groin strain all season, limiting him to just two games.
“With the injury and everything last year, there were a lot of questions and doubts [about] if I was even going to be able to play this year,” said Dupuis.
That uncertainty was put to rest in mid-August after Dupuis received a message from the head coach of the Bisons, Frank Spinozzi.
“Right away, I knew this was what I wanted to do,” said Dupuis. “It had always been kind of on the radar to come [to Europe] and play. It was a no brainer.”
Dupuis finished his career at Ryerson having played in 72 games, posting a .902 save percentage and a 3.11 goals against average. He gave the Rams a chance to win almost every time he stepped on the ice as a steady force in the net.
As excited as he is to be starting a new chapter in his life over in France, he said he won’t forget how valuable the past five years at Ryerson have been for him.
“I miss wearing the blue and gold. Without those five years I wouldn’t be where I am today,” said Dupuis.“I wouldn’t trade the last five years for anything.”
Dupuis is currently in France and practicing with his new team in preparation for the upcoming season which starts in October. Of course under the circumstances of the pandemic, moving across the globe to play hockey isn’t the easiest thing to do.
“It had always been kind of on the radar to come [to Europe] and play. It was a no brainer”
But that wasn’t going to stop Dupuis, as he considered it a positive to play so far away from Toronto. Dupuis said he was “thrilled to get the chance to travel the world, to do what I love to do.”
While Ryerson provided Dupuis a space to grow as a goalie, it was also a place for him to gain a meaningful education and grow as a person.
“I loved being at Ryerson and I’m extremely happy I was able to complete my sport media program and get my diploma,” said Dupuis. “The school taught me so many valuable lessons, especially time management. Balancing hockey and schoolwork, that’s something I got better at each and every year.”
Dupuis acknowledged that after his days of playing hockey are over, he might look to put that sport media degree to use. In the meantime though, he’s thrilled to be getting ready to start his professional career in Europe with the Bisons.
Whenever university hockey is back up and running, Dupuis said he’ll be cheering on the Rams from France.
“I’ll be waiting for them to get back on the ice and hopefully win that OUA championship we sadly fell short of while I was there.”