The 19th draft pick in the 2013 draft, Kerby Rychel has struggled carving out a role for himself in the Columbus Blue Jackets organization. It was something that came out during development camp, when his “camp” — likely his father, former NHLer Warren Rychel, and his agent — met with the organization to discuss why Rychel hadn’t risen further up the depth chart.
It has now come to light that Rychel requested a trade from the organization before the start of the season, according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Post-Dispatch.
Rychel’s potential as a gritty forward with offensive talent hasn’t been lost on GMs around the league, despite the lack of NHL time he’s seen. According to Portzline, the Rangers, Flames, Maple Leafs, Ducks, Bruins and Red Wings have all shown interest in acquiring Rychel.
Despite playing five-to-seven fewer games than the top seven scorers for the Lake Erie Monsters in the AHL, Rychel is second on the team in scoring with 17 points (5-12-17) in 20 games. Last season he posted 33 points (12-21-33) in 50 games for the Springfield Falcons.
At the NHL level, he hasn’t found his offense in very limited time. He grabbed five NHL games last year, with no goals and three assists. This year he’s been given 11 NHL matches with no goals and three assists, though he’s averaged just 7:44 of ice time.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.