PuckDrop Podcast: Ryan Lasch — American Sniper
The Californian has found success wherever his European journey has taken him, but he’s finally found a home with Frölunda of the SHL.
A prolific goal-scorer from Southern California, Ryan Lasch has been proving himself in the different leagues in Europe the last few seasons, having had success everywhere he has been: Liiga, SHL and NLA. He has won scoring titles and championships with different clubs, and was one of the hot commodities during free agency last summer, but it was only one club that he wanted to go to: a return to Frölunda and coach Roger Rönnberg.
It all started with Wayne Gretzky’s trade to Los Angeles, and the impact it had for hockey in California. Lasch was one of the benefactors of an increased interest in hockey, and with his small stature, ice hockey was the sport in which he could shine compared to the other big sports in California: football, baseball, and basketball.
He played college hockey with St. Cloud State University and became an All-Star before setting his sights on Europe in order to pursue a hockey career that has since flourished. Ryan even had a quick return to North America to try to break into the NHL through, playing with the Norfolk Admirals and then Toronto Marlies, but with no success is reaching the top level, he returned to Europe, and has been satisfied with the decision.
During the 2015-16 season, Lasch won the Champions Hockey League title and the Le Mat Trophy as an SHL champion, both alongside Montreal Canadiens forward Artturi Lehkonen, and he credits Frölundas development system with the breakthrough of Lehkonen during last year’s season with the Canadiens.
Lasch left Frölunda and played the 2016-17 season in another of the classic clubs of Europe, HC Bern, and scored the cup-clinching goal to give Bern another championship before returning to sign a three-year contract with Frölunda.
We also speak with Ryan about the Olympics and missing out on the nomination to the US Olympic team.