Riders ‘very pleased’ with how rookie punter Kaare Vedvik is replacing Jon Ryan

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

Saskatchewan Roughrider punter Kaare Vedvik is only two games in but already making a bid for Global player of the year in the CFL.

If only there was such an award.

The Norwegian punted six times in the Riders Friday night win at Edmonton, leading all CFL punters in Week 14. Vedvik’s boots averaged 53 yards, including a 75-yard bomb unleashed midway through the fourth quarter that sailed 64 yards before it even bounced.

The rocket ball even eluded Elks return man Earnest Edwards before rolling out of bounds to pin the Edmonton offence at its own five-yard line at a critical point, midway through the final frame. And head coach Craig Dickenson admits he’s impressed by Vedvik.

“He had a good game,” Dickenson said. “He might be the special teams player of the game. He flipped the field twice for us and he’s quick back there. He does a good job of holding.”

The 27-year-old Vedvik bounced around the NFL before landing in Saskatchewan via the Global Draft. He replaced the soon-to-turn-40-year-old Jon Ryan after the Riders Week 12 win at Calgary. Ryan rolled his ankle while running downfield to make a tackle after a kick in that game.

Vedvik didn’t replace Ryan as the holder for field goal kicker Brett Lauther in his first game at Montreal as it was decided at game-time that Lauther would be more comfortable with backup quarterback Isaac Harker.

That changed for the game in Edmonton and Lauther mirrored his 4-for-4 performance from the week before. The most impressive part of Vedvik’s performance was probably his average net yardage of 46.2 yards which is the best indicator of field position and a punter’s effectiveness.

“I’m very pleased with Kaare Vedvik,” Dickenson, the noted special teams guru, said. “He was a major contributor to this win.”

Vedvik would love to replace Ryan whenever the latter retires before next season or even a year or two after that. However, two solid performances are not yet worthy to name anyone a permanent replacement for the legendary Ryan.

Although, for Vedvik, it’s so far, so good with Saskatchewan.

Brendan McGuire has covered the CFL since 2006 in radio and print. Based in Regina, he has a front-row view of Rider Nation.