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Edit: Drafted 19th Overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Kerby Rychel is yet another 2013 NHL Draft prospect with excellent athletic bloodlines. He is the son of Warren Rychel, who played 9 seasons in the NHL. While Warren was mainly known as a grinder and a pugilist, Rychel has become a truly skilled power forward with back to back 40 goal seasons for the Windsor Spitfires. After Kerby was drafted by the Barrie Colts in the OHL draft and then traded to the Mississauga St. Mike’s Majors; Spitfires’ GM and co-owner Warren Rychel made a series of trades to ensure that his son would be part of his hometown team. In Windsor, Kerby flourished, and his game has improved by leaps and bounds from his days in Mississauga.
Kerby Rychel was born in Los Angeles (while his father was playing for the Kings) but has spent the majority of his life living in Canada. He played for Team Ontario at the 2011 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge, and for Team Canada at the 2012 IIHF Under -18 World Championships, winning bronze medals in both events.
Born Oct 7 1994 — Los Angeles, CA
Height 6.01 — Weight 200 — Shoots Left
February Rank 17
Rychel has a very heavy, very accurate wrist shot and an excellent release which can really fool goals and leads to him scoring a lot of goals. Rychel also has a very good one timer and should be called a pure sniper. He scores a ton of goals from the top of the circles. However, he can also absolutely lethal in close to the net, using his soft, quick hands to tip in shots and bury rebounds. With this kind of pure goal scoring talent, its easy to see how he has scored 81 goals in the last two years. Rychel also drives opposing goalies nuts by setting up right at the top of the opponents crease and creating traffic along with occasional contact and chaos in the goal mouth area. He also works hard in the corners and throws some big hits by getting in hard on the forecheck. He also has some decent vision, and can make plays for his linemates, especially off the cycle.
Rychel’s skating has really improved over the last two years, but there are still some improvements necessary. He has very good top end speed, but his start up and acceleration are choppy, meaning it takes him an extra stride or two to reach that speed. He does have good agility and excellent balance and power though.
Defensively, Rychel is inconsistent. We’ve seen him play some really great defensive games, taking his man effectively, being involved physically, blocking shots, and really working hard on the back check. When he moves his feet, he’s a really good two way player. However Rychel has also had games where he doesn’t keep his feet moving in his own zone and where he gets caught puck watching at times. This can cause him issues, and he’ll need to find some more consistency.
Like his old man, Rychel is not afraid to play a tough game and has been known to drop the gloves from time to time.
In terms of style he seems to be a bit of a cross between a Dustin Brown and a Corey Perry. Now I stress again, that this is a stylistic comparison only and not his potential. Rychel’s ceiling is closer to being either a complimentary first liner, or an excellent second line winger who can bring some toughness and grit in the NHL.
Check back tomorrow for our number 23 prospect.
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