Kerby Rychel may not be as high profiled as the case of Jonathan Drouin, but plenty of teams around the NHL have expressed interest in Columbus Blue Jackets prospect. According to multiple reports the 21 year old Rychel requested a trade prior to the 2015-2016 season.
Teams such as Calgary Flames, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks, and Boston Bruins have approached GM Jarmo Kekalainen in regards to acquiring the gritty forward.
A former first round pick in the 2013 draft (19th overall) Rychel has been quite impressive in his first AHL season, recording 20 points (5G-15A) in 21 games for the Lake Erie Monsters. The feisty bulldozer has played just 11 games for the Blue Jackets this season recording three assist.
Rychel has 3 years remaining on his entry level contract which carries a cap hit of $863.333 until the summer of 2018. His contract is certainly reasonable, but the question lingers; is Kerby Rychel a good fit for the Leafs?
I would believe so.
The Leafs prospect pool is somewhat small compared to the average NHL player and Rychel standing at 6ft tall 213lbs could be the guy to throw the body and give the Leafs a little toughness. A trade would also give Rychel ample amount of time to develop alongside Maple Leaf prospects William Nylander, Mitch Marner, Connor Brown, and Kasperi Kapanen.
It's no secret Rychel is unhappy with the Blue Jackets organization and can you really blame him? Columbus never had much faith in the rugged forward, seeing his average ice time diminish in his second partial season and coach Tortorella starting veterans Jared Boll, David Clarkson, Rene Bourque in place of the former 1st round pick.
Though Rychel has produced impressive AHL stats, he has little leverage in this situation. It's public information Rychel wants out and there's not much he can do other than hope and wait.
As for Columbus; now that Johansen is gone there are talks of Boone Jenner moving back to center. Jenner had been playing mostly wing since joining the Blue Jackets in 2013-14; coincidentally Rychel plays wing, unfortunately for Columbus, the mismanagement of Rychel situation has tarnished their relationship.
Looking at the Maple Leafs roster it's clear they have plenty of assets to lure Rychel away from Jarmo and the Blue Jackets, now the question is: What would it take?
It’s difficult to predict the asking price of a disgruntled player but I would assume it’s either draft picks or another prospect in return. The last year and a half Shanahan has shown the Leafs value their picks and it’s not something they would be interested in trading away
Considering the Leafs are in the rebuilding phase it also wouldn’t make much sense trading away newly acquired prospects. So if we turn to the Marlies roster and think which players have been buried in the depth chart names like Josh Leivo, and Stuart Percy come to mind. Both players haven’t been able to crack the Maple Leafs roster on a permanent basis
If you were Shanahan, Lamariello and company would you package one or possibly both for Kerby Rychel?
I for one would have to pass: Rychels’ lack of patience is a red flag. He hasn’t proven to the coaches, staff, or the rest of his teammates he belongs on the Jackets’ roster. His quick frustration with management is also a sign he expects everything to be given to him.
Rychel spent a majority of his OHL career playing for the Windsor Spitfires, A team his dad owns and manages. Since day one, he’s had his father looking over him, making sure he was getting top line minutes. He was born with the silver spoon in his mouth and I wouldn’t want a guy like that playing for the blue and white.
If it were my call, I’d say Leafs have bigger fish to fry.
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