Canadiens 2013 Draft Targets: Kerby Rychel

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Over the next three weeks, I will be breaking down some of the players I believe the Habs should and/or could target with one of their eight picks. Information is taken from various scouting reports, rankings, and videos.

I wasn't going to do a report on Kerby Rychel. But...

It's starting to seem like I'll need to write one up later anyway. Might as well do it now. Kerby Rychel is a 6'1", 205 lb winger whose best attributes are his puck control, his grit, and his shot. He's a hard worker who will go to the corners, drive the net, and pot a lot of goals from close in. His wrist shot, however, also allows him to score from mid-range when given the chance. His biggest weaknesses are likely his skating and his lack of creativity. Scouts differ on exactly how much of both a possession-driver and a goal-scorer in the NHL he can be, but the more popular opinion seems to be that he lacks the upside to be a top-6 forward. He is an imposing figure, often appearing even bigger than his frame, which will make him an appealing pick for some teams.

Season Team GP Goals Assists Points +/- PIM
2011-12 Windsor Spitfires (OHL) 68 41 33 74 +3 54
2012-13 Windsor Spitfires (OHL) 68 40 47 87 -21 94

Kerby is the son of former NHLer Warren Rychel, who is now the GM in Windsor, a team that has groomed stars like Taylor Hall into top draft picks. Rychel plays on a line with Bruins prospect Alexander Khoklachev, a dominant center who will likely play in the NHL sooner rather than later. It's important to note that when Khok missed the first half of this season, Rychel struggled. In February, with the centerman's return, Rychel broke out for 25 points in 12 games, and finished strong with 48 points in his final 29.

Scouting:

Corey Pronman, Hockey Prospectus

Rychel, the son of former NHL player Warren Rychel, has been a productive OHL forward the past two seasons, averaging over a point per game during that span. He has above-average puck skills, good offensive instincts, and a great shot. While he has good skill, I would not define him as a creative player. The Spitfires used him on the right point of their power play, where he was free to unleash his big one-timer. He can be effective in front of the net, as he has good hand-eye coordination, and a quality power game that helps him establish body position. He projects as a good secondary scoring option, with skill and physicality adding to his value. His skating is roughly average; he has some poor mechanics, but decent speed. He also needs to work on his defensive game.

Top Shelf Prospects:

In terms of style he seems to be a bit of a cross between a Dustin Brown and a Corey Perry. Now I stress again, that this is a stylistic comparison only and not his potential. Rychel's ceiling is closer to being either a complimentary first liner, or an excellent second line winger who can bring some toughness and grit in the NHL.

Highlights:

Rankings:

ISS Rank: 20

Craig Button Rank: 27

FC Rank: 26

McKeen's Rank: 25

Pronman Rank: 44

Hockey News Rank: 21

Average Rank: 27

Personal Rank: 28

I would be disappointed if the Canadiens used their first round pick on Rychel, not because I don't think he has NHL potential, but because I see his upside as being significantly below some of his peers that are ranked in the same range or even lower. He will likely be selected in the 20-30 range, but if he were to drop to 34th he would be someone the team would have to consider. Rychel does seem to be ranked right around where the Habs draft in the first round just about everywhere, though, so you never know. And as I noted in my intro piece, Timmins has had success picking from the OHL in the past. We'll see if he goes back there.

Past Reads:

An Intro to the Canadiens and the 2013 Draft

Target #1: Josh Morrissey

Target #2: Anthony Mantha

Target #3: Samuel Morin

Target #4: Valentin Zykov

Target #5: Emile Poirier

Target #6: Jordan Subban


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