Former Red Wings draft pick dies while traveling Switzerland

The Sports Network

6/5/2012 7:40:39 PM

TOLEDO, Ohio -- The Toledo Walleye of the ECHL say Canadian defenceman Bryan Rufenach has died this week while travelling in Switzerland. He was 23.

No other information about Rufenach's death was available.

The Barrie, Ont., native was picked by the Detroit Red Wings in the seventh round of the 2007 draft. He was signed to his first pro contract by the Walleye last year after four years at Clarkson University.

Walleye coach Nick Vitucci says the team's thoughts and prayers are with Rufenach's family. He describes Rufenach as "a great teammate" who "would play any role asked of him."

Rufenach played 54 games with Toledo in 2011-12, scoring 13 goals. He was promoted to Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League on three occasions.