2013 was a big draft, with plenty of names, including Nate MacKinnon, Alex Barkov, and Seth Jones around the league; and Alex Wennberg, Kerby Rychel, and Marko Dano in Columbus. This was a great draft with plenty of first rounders making it to the NHL. Now, there are two guys that have not cracked their roster yet, and are looking for new addresses as a result. With both Jonathan Drouin and Kerby Rychel being available on the trade block, would the easiest thing to do be swapping youngsters?
Drouin was drafted third overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2013 NHL Draft. He had extremely productive years with the Halifax Mooseheads in the QMJHL, playing on the same team as Nathan MacKinnon and Zach Fucale. The problem between him and the Bolts comes down to playing time. Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper wants his players to play his system, and Drouin has not been able to do so. As a result, he was scratched during last year's playoffs, and assigned to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL last week. His trade request comes at a bad time for the Bolts as they may lose their future offensive producers in Drouin and the currently unsigned Steven Stamkos. The Fourth Period has reported that Columbus has called Tampa about Drouin, and the question is what is Tampa's price?
As for Kerby Rychel, he was drafted 19th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets with their second first round draft pick in this draft. This pick was part of the Rick Nash blockbuster, which also brought Tim Erixon (PIT), Artem Anisimov (CHI), and Brandon Dubinsky to Columbus. Ruche led the Guelph Storm (OHL) to a Memorial Cup run, and came very close to winning. After developing in the OHL and AHL, he was called up for five games last season, and had three assists in those games. This season, Columbus' depth on offense forced him to return to the AHL, and because of injuries (again), he was called up for 11 games this time, and had three assists (again). Rychel; his dad; agent; and other people close to him met with management over the summer to discuss why he was down on their depth charts, and for that, have requested a trade out of the organization, even though Columbus has not budged.
The question comes down to two organizations with two young players with lots of potential, is this a good swap for both teams? What are your thoughts? More to come…