40 goal scorers are hard to come by in the latter stages of the first round
in any draft class. Even more rare is finding one who has hit that plateau
in consecutive years. That is the case with Windsor winger Kerby Rychel,
who, despite his goal scoring prowess, may still be around when it’s time for
Montreal to announce their first selection in Sunday’s draft.
Born: October 7, 1994 – Los Angeles, CA
Height: 6’1" Weight: 205 lbs Shoots: Left
ISS Rank: 20 THN Rank: 21 CSB Rank: 17 (NA
What has helped Rychel become one of the more prolific scorers in junior hockey
is his shot – it’s hard and accurate which will help him succeed at the pro
level. He also plays with an edge and has a nose for the net. His
puck skills when he’s not shooting could use some improvement but have developed
nicely over the years. Rychel is a little rough around the edges when it
comes to skating but still has decent top end speed. If his stride can be
refined, he could be even more of a threat.
Unfortunately, there are several concerns about his game as well. Although
Rychel has the ability to play a physical style, he hasn’t been able to do so
consistently at the OHL level, that edge needs to be there more often.
Sometimes he’s a force, other times he isn’t all that noticeable, creating
concerns about his work ethic. His two-way game isn’t the greatest either
at this stage, how much he improves in this regard will strongly help determine
how good he can become in the NHL.
It’s these concerns that provide the reason why Rychel may still be available at
this pick. If he can find the ability to play a consistent power game, one
that he has shown glimpses of even as a 16 year old, he may have the ability to
be a front line NHL’er and would be a steal anywhere past pick 20. If he
isn’t able to improve in these areas, he profiles as a second/third line winger
that should be able to provide 15-20 goals, similar to current Canadiens forward