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2013 Draft Guide Preview: Kerby Rychel

The apple doesn’t fall far from the Rychel family tree.

Kerby Rychel, son of former NHLer Warren, plays a similar game to his father. Kerby plays with an edge and grit, and a willingness to drop the gloves reminiscent of the game played by Warren.

But while Kerby has some similarities to Warren, the differences are perhaps what makes Kerby the highly-touted prospect many consider to be a first-round talent. Rychel is a much more gifted goal scorer than his old man, scoring 81 goals over his last two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League. His skill level is such that even Warren readily admits it’s much higher than his.

Kerby Rychel is one of the most productive players in the OHL the past two seasons, but part of his success can be attributed to playmaking linemate Alexander Khokhlachev. The duo worked well together, with Khokhlachev feeding Rychel the puck.

As an NHL team ponders Rychel’s future, they’ll need to determine whether his scoring exploits will translate to the NHL or if his future is more as a third line forward bringing occasional offence and grit.

2013 Draft Guide Profile:

Kerby Rychel (LW, 2013), Windsor Spitfires

Rode a scorching February (12-9-16-25) - buoyed by the return of Alex Khokhlachev - to his second straight 40-goal campaign .. produced 48 points in his final 29 games (29-17-31-48) with Khokhlachev in tow - and led Windsor with a career-high 87 points .. the son of former NHLer Warren Rychel, currently Windsor GM and part-owner .. SCOUTING REPORT .. big, brawny sniper .. difficult to knock off the puck when imposing his will to work the slot and down low .. exhibits smarts and awareness in the offensive zone .. creates chances and can generate a cycle - equipped with a strong, thick body to administer checks .. plays with some ‘push back’ - and won’t hesitate finishing a hit or sticking a player .. still needs to be harder on loose pucks - gives up too easily at times .. hands are strong and skilled .. more shooter than distributor though - and benefits from playing alongside a playmaking center .. top weapons are a potent snapshot and wristshot - which explode off his stick .. opportunistic in scoring areas and skillful preparing his stick - usually doesn’t need second opportunities to bury chances .. sluggish skater with a laboured stride .. feet turn and spray out during startup - limiting his acceleration burst .. must dig deep to generate speed .. body mechanics are stiff from the hips down - giving rise to inherent balance issues - such as turns and pivots .. not nearly as consistent with his defensive efforts .. habitually the last man back - and often floating high waiting for a stretch pass .. shift management also became an issue as he over-extends shifts and takes himself off at inopportune times .. displayed heightened intensity and more of an appetite for the puck in `11-12 .. his skating causes the most concern though, since he showed little improvement over the course of the season.