Author: Austin Cozicar
For three seasons with SFU Hockey, Ryker Moreau worked hard every shift, earning the coaching staff’s trust after joining the team as a walk-on.
Since then, he’s been applying that same work ethic to his academic pursuits, finishing his undergrad with a Bachelor of Science in Statistics and Economics, and beginning his studies for a Master’s in Statistics at SFU in the fall.
“I’m excited,” he says of his decision to come back to SFU for his graduate studies. “They have one of the better backgrounds with sports analytics, actually, so it seemed like a great fit.
“Sports analytics has become my passion over my university career and statistics is the best way to get there.”
Moreau already has some great experience under his belt working with a sports organization. A lifelong Edmonton Oilers fan, he got a chance to work for their rivals, the Vancouver Canucks, through SFU’s co-op program.
It was the September of 2018, he had just finished a summer co-op term, and was getting ready to start another semester of school and hockey, when his advisor told him of a great opportunity that they were having a hard time finding the right candidate for.
“I get a call from my advisor that was like, ‘You have to apply for this job,’” he says. “And it was not even a stats position — it was a kinesiology position. It was a strength and conditioning intern, and I said, ‘Well, I’m starting hockey and all that kind of stuff,’ she’s like, ‘You’re gonna love this job.’ So I applied and got it.”
As the strength and conditioning intern, Moreau handled the analytics and data management — everything from fitness testing to injuries to daily workloads — for strength and conditioning, as well as the medical team. He also got to do a little bit of work for the analytics department.
Moreau did two terms with the Canucks, working for the team throughout the whole 2018/19 season. After that, he remained with the Canucks as a part time consultant for nearly two years after that while he finished his studies.
While he doesn’t get starstruck easily, the experience was surreal.
“My office was right in the gym. Access to the players lounge, a lot of free food,” he laughs.
“You become pretty close to the guys, like I remember going back after the summer when I was doing the consulting job and I went in from time to time just to catch up with them in person and go over projects, I remember [I] walk in and Boeser is like, ‘Rykes, what’s going on,’ gives me a hug.
“That was pretty cool.”
Looking back on his time with SFU Hockey, Moreau is grateful for the lasting friendships he’s made — former linemates Sam Chatterley and Spencer Unger are his roommates, he still camps and plays fantasy hockey with his former teammates. The opportunities that SFU has opened up for him have been tremendous.
“It’s just all those little moments that made it [special], like probably 75 percent of them weren’t on the ice, you know, I mean it’s from bus trips, and hotels, and even just seeing the guys
around school and stuff like that. So I mean the hockey was amazing but that’s the best part about being a junior player or being a college player is like all the relationships you take forward,” he says.
“I’m grateful I got the opportunity from [head coach] Mark [Coletta]. I ended up walking on, but like no one else was really giving me a shot, so to be able to continue my hockey career, but also have the chance to come to SFU, which is an amazing school, that kind of all led me to where I am. I don’t even know if I would be doing stats at this moment if I didn’t come to SFU.”