Newcomer Kerby Rychel brings grit, playmaking to Laval Rocket

Already in his third organization at age 23, Kerby Rychel, a former first-round draft pick, has no choice but to take a philosophical approach to the hand he has been dealt.

“I think everyone has a different path,” the left-winger said Tuesday after practice at Place Bell in Laval. “Things happen. Some guys play on 10 teams, some on one. That’s just the way it is.”

It marked his first workout with the Laval Rocket since he and defenceman Rinat Valiev were acquired from the Maple Leafs for Tomas Plekanec.

“I hope I can be here for a bit, move up to the Canadiens and play there for a long time,” added the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Rychel, who had 10 goals and 30 points in 55 games for the Toronto Marlies, the Leafs’ American Hockey League affiliate and one of the strongest teams.

“It’s tough. Obviously you want to move up. But (Toronto’s) a really deep team, one of the (NHL’s) best. It’s definitely one of the hardest teams to make, added Rychel, who was born in Torrance, Calif., but raised in Tecumseh, Ont.

His father, Warren Rychel, won a Stanley Cup with Colorado in 1996. One of Rychel’s teammates was Rocket head coach Sylvain Lefebvre, who’s providing the younger Rychel with a glorious opportunity to succeed. When Laval entertains Bridgeport Friday night, Rychel will play on the first line with Chris Terry and Adam Cracknell.

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