Kerby Rychel – The Next Ones: 2013 Draft Prospect Profile

Kerby Rychel THW Closeup:

Team: Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
Birthdate: October 7, 1994
Hometown: Tecumseh, Ontario
Height: 6’1″  Weight: 200lbs
Position: Left Wing
Shoots: Left
Twitter: @krychs
THW Ranking: 22nd
CSS Final Rankings: 17th (North American skaters)
The Hockey News Ranking: 21st
Kerby Rychel (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
Kerby Rychel (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

Kerby Rychel, like many players who have ex-NHLers for fathers can never escape the comparisons. However with Kerby and Warren, the comparisons end at the last name. Kerby is a back to back 40 goal scorer who plays a physical, power forward style of game.

“He’s totally opposite from the player I was,” says Warren Rychel, the Spitfires’ vice president, general manager and part-owner, who was bypassed twice in the draft and toiled five seasons in the now-defunct International Hockey League before becoming an NHL regular.

The one thing he has certainly learned from his old man is his work ethic. Rychel is a dedicated player who has worked hard at improving all areas of his game and has turned into one of the best two way forwards in the OHL. He’s extremely versatile and plays a key role in most aspects of the Spitfires game.

“I’d like to be a Dustin Brown type,” Rychel said. “Play in all three zones, be a leader. My versatility and ability to play in all situations are my strengths.”

The best player on a poor Windsor team this season, Rychel was Mr. Everything for the team which was both a blessing and curse. He played big minutes and put up impressive numbers with 40 goals and 87 points putting him 8th in league scoring.

The knock on Rychel at times during the season was that he would try and do too much, that he would try and shoulder too much of the load on a struggling Spitfires team.

His passion and competiveness was a double edged sword at times as it lead him to the top end talent his is, but at times overextended him too much and left him fatigued and often frustrated.

With maturity he will be able to refine that aspect of his game and make him that more dangerous and consistent.

Where He’ll End Up In June:

Rychel has been projected is a mid first round pick and will likely go somewhere in the 18-22 range.

Scout’s Honour:

Rychel is a natural scorer with a fantastic shooting arsenal and is extremely opportunistic. He owns the size to play as a power forward but lacks the consistent physical aspect to be tagged as that type of player. He can stand to make better decisions with the puck as a passer but it is his scoring prowess that will carry Rychel to a first round selection. – DobberProspects

Rychel is a prototypical power forward who’s power game makes up for any lack of offensive flair. A very polished prospect, Rychel is strong on his skates and is one of the most competitive and gritty players you’ll find around the Canadian Hockey League. While Rychel possesses above average skills, it’s his determination and hockey sense around the net that allow him to score the majority of his goals. As he moves to the NHL level, it’s likely that you’ll see him develop an agitator side to his game as he looks like he’ll be a capable winger or centre who has the versatility to be an effective contributor on a scoring line while bringing a physical two-way presence – The Scouting Report

…skating has undergone a complete turnaround in terms of acceleration, balance, and edge work over the last two seasons .. start-up speed is still a tad awkward though as he really has to scratch and dig into the ice .. having added over 10 pounds of muscle to his frame, he is also better equipped to engage in physical 1-on-1 contests down low .. goes to the front of the net without hesitation .. produces a strong work effort in all areas of the ice .. fights through checks and maintains a high competitive level even if his team is down by a large margin .. top weapon is a lethal shot – excels operating at the top of the dots with the man advantage .. would better exploit his shooting abilities with a natural playmaker such as Khokhlachev in the middle .. too often must do the majority of the grunt work in both the offensive zone and on the backcheck .. can get fatigued when fully applying himself in the defensive zone – and runs out of energy when the play turns the other way .. however, his defensive consistency needs to improve .. gets caught standing still and watching his man – even though he has a good sense of detail to the play unfolding around him .. efforts must be stronger – needs to bear down and apply more force on puckcarriers .. appears frustrated, body language is off – feeling the burden of having to do too much for this club… – McKeens Hockey (Oct 2012)



International Tournaments:

  • 2011 Canada U17 – 4 points in 5 games (gold medal)
  • 2012 Canada U18 – 8 points in 7 games (bronze medal)


Kerby Rychel (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
Kerby Rychel (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
  • 2 years

Risk/Reward Analysis:

Risk: 1/5 Reward: 4/5

NHL potential:

  • Top six power forward


  • Strength
  • Shot
  • Release
  • Aggressiveness
  • Physical game
  • Nose for the net
  • Compete level

Flaws/Aspects He Needs to Work On:

  • Defensive consistency at the next level
  • Skating (acceleration)
  • Continue adding strength to play power forward role at the next level
  • Tries to do too much at times

Fantasy Potential:

Offensive: 8/10  Defensive: 7/10

NHL Comparable:

  • Models his game after Kings forward Dustin Brown (see THW Closeup)


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THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect: Chris Ralph

Follow Carl on twitter @maloney3383 for more articles