Former Clarkson defenseman Rufenach passes away at 23

Former Clarkson defenseman Bryan Rufenach passed away suddenly this week while traveling in Switzerland, according to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.

Rufenach played in 54 games last season for the Walleye and was the team’s fourth-leading scorer.

“The entire team’s thoughts and prayers are with Bryan’s family as they get through this difficult time,” Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said to the Toledo Blade. “Bryan was a great teammate and would play any role asked of him.”

Details of his death have not yet been released, but the Lindsay (Ont.) Post reported he was electrocuted.

Rufenach was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the seventh round of the 2007 NHL draft and signed his first pro contract with the Walleye on March 25, 2011.

After a four-year college career at Clarkson, Rufenach played in the final six games of Toledo’s 2010-11 season. He scored four goals in one game against Chicago on Nov. 4, 2011 and was promoted to Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League on three different occasions, picking up two assists in 13 games with the Griffins.

Rufenach, who scored four goals in 33 games his senior year at Clarkson in 2010-11, tallied 21 goals and 55 points in 136 career games.