Taking Liberties With… Ryan Lasch
Forward, Frolunda Indians (Swedish Elite League)
Last Amateur Team: St. Cloud State University (WCHA)
Hometown: Lake Forest
Local Youth Programs: California Wave, South Coast Sabers, Los Angeles Jr. Kings
Where Ryan Lasch goes, points follow.
After piling up 147 in 56 games during his final year of juniors in Pembroke, Ontario, Lasch went on to set the career scoring record for NCAA Division I’s St. Cloud State University with 183 in 161 games.
A three-time All-WCHA selection, he was a Hobey Baker Award finalist as a sophomore after scoring 53 points in 40 games for the Huskies.
Since graduating in 2010, Lasch has played professionally since, mainly in Europe.
California Rubber: What’s the one piece of advice you’d give young players in California?
Ryan Lasch: This is very cliché, but really it’s true that you should never give up on the dream. Continue to work on all areas of your game. There are so many different avenues and opportunities that lie ahead, and any one of them can lead to your dream of becoming a pro. You always hear about the guy who took the long road to make it to the NHL – the path less taken – and there are more and more of these stories out there, so it’s important to never give up and keep on fighting for what you want. Hockey is such a funny sport like that.
CR: What was your most memorable hockey experience growing up in California?
RL: It was being part of a summer all-star team that participated in The Brick Invitational Tournament in Edmonton. The age group was Squirts and you got to play in the West Edmonton Mall against teams from all over North America. I look back at rosters from the teams that participated and they’re just loaded with NHL players. It’s pretty awesome to see.
CR: What’s been your most memorable experience outside of California?
RL: I’d say it’s just a collection of all the years I’ve played pro overseas. Being able to be in Europe and play in countries like Sweden, Finland, Germany and Italy, to name a few, and play the sport you love while playing against top players every year never gets old. And every year brings in another exciting journey.
CR: How has the youth game changed since you were playing in California?
RL: It’s grown big time. With the success of the (Los Angeles) Kings and (Anaheim) Ducks you see more kids playing the sport, but the difference now is they just don’t play it to play it; these kids are developing their games and making an impact around the globe. You see an incredible amount of kids from California playing Division I college or in the Canadian Hockey League, being drafted and making it to the NHL. I can see that trend continuing.
CR: Who’ve been the biggest influences on your hockey career?
RL: My parents, for sure. The sacrifices they’ve made – not only for me, but for my two other brothers who play sports – was huge. They put us first and provided us with every opportunity to be successful. Without their influence and guidance, the success and where I am now in my hockey career wouldn’t have happened.
CR: What’s your favorite sport outside of hockey?
RL: I have three: football, baseball and golf.
CR: What does your game-day routine look like?
RL: We usually have a team skate in the morning. After that, I like to take a cold tub around 45 degrees (Fahrenheit) for about five minutes to get the legs feeling fresh. Then it’s lunchtime followed by a nap. I wake up, have some coffee and listen to country tunes. Then I walk to the rink and put on some techno music to get fired up.
CR: Are you particular about any of your gear?
RL: I think the biggest thing is how my gloves and sticks feel; if one thing is off just little with either of those, I’d notice right away.
CR: Is there anything in your hockey bag that might surprise us?
RL: I keep a softball and lacrosse ball in there. I use both to lie down and stretch to create a deep tissue massage.
CR: Do you have a favorite restaurant you frequent when you’re back in California?
RL: Yes. The Whitehouse in Laguna Beach.
CR: What’s been the most challenging aspect of playing pro hockey?
RL: Just being consistent. You have to go out every game and practice and battle and do your job. If you take a day off, someone else wants your job and is working just as hard to take it.
CR: What’s the funniest hockey prank you’ve witnessed or been a part of?
RL: My personal favorite is the cup of water hidden in the gear. You place a small cup of water in a shin pad or under the helmet, and when your buddy goes up to reach for his gear in his locker stall, he brings that cup of water down with him spilling it all over himself. The best part is nobody knows who did it, and everyone starts pointing fingers.
– Compiled by Chris Bayee