Hockey players who are born and raised in New England tend to go the college route as they chase their dreams of playing in the National Hockey League.
However, when some of them come to the fork in the road, they embark on a different path and head to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
One such player who chose the latter direction — after a brief stop along the first road — is Ludlow, Mass., native Jake Ryczek, who’s in his second season with the Halifax Mooseheads.
Ryczek, a 20-year-old defenseman, was selected in the seventh round of the 2016 NHL draft by the Chicago Blackhawks and started last season with Providence College, where he scored one goal in five games. He then left NCAA hockey behind and headed to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he totaled 27 points (7-20-27) in 33 contests to end the campaign. He added three assists in nine playoff matches.