Former Red Wings Prospect Bryan Rufenach Dies At Age 23

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 28: A detail view of a hockey puck on the ice during the Pittsburgh Penguins game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Mellon Arena on March 28, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Penguins defeated the Leafs 5-4 in a shootout. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Former Detroit Red Wings prospect Bryan Rufenach died this past week while traveling in Switzerland. The defenseman was just 23 years old.

Former Detroit Red Wings prospect Bryan Rufenach died this week at just 23 years old while traveling in Switzerland. The defenseman played with the Toledo Walleye of the East Coast Hockey League this past season after signing his first professional contract in March, 2011. Walleye head coach Nick Vitucci spoke after Rufenach's passing.

"The entire team's thoughts and prayers are with Bryan's family as they get through this difficult time. Bryan was a great teammate and would play any role asked of him."

Rufenach was selected in the seventh round of the 2007 NHL Draft, and spent four years at Clarkson University before signing this past season with the Walleye. He ranked third in the ECHL among defensemen with 13 goals, adding 20 assists and 38 penalty minutes in his 54 games played. He also played 13 games with the Red Wings' AHL-affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins.

The Lindsay (Ontario) Post reported late Tuesday that Rufenach died of electrocution.

For more on Rufenach and the Red Wings, head over to the SB Nation blog Winging It In Motown.

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