Blue Jackets 2013 first round pick Kerby Rychel was traded from the Windsor Spitfires to the Guelph Storm.
The original deal as reported on Monday was Kerby and fellow NHL first round pick Slater Koekkoek to the Storm for forward Brody Milne and draft picks but the trade would be squashed…for about a day. The actual deal was finally made official Tuesday before the Blue Jackets game started.
The final deal went down like this. The Storm received Kerby and defenseman Nick Ebert for Milne and at least eight picks but it could be nine if Ebert returns for his overage season. The picks involved are as follows: Guelph’s second round picks in the 2014, 15, 16, 17, 18 OHL Drafts, a third in 2016, a fourth in 2014 and 2015 and a conditional 15th round pick in 2017 (if Ebert returns). Kerby sent out this tweet to the fans in Windsor after the trade and Kerby and Nick made this video after the trade. But who was hit hardest by the news? That would be Tempelton Rychel.
With the trade, Kerby goes from the 17-10 Spitfires to the 20-5-2-1 Storm who are second in the OHL’s Western Conference Midwest Division behind the Erie Otters (who have a pretty good goalie). Guelph is likely loading up to hopefully take down the mighty London Knights in the OHL’s Western Conference as the Storm will have to defeat the Knights in the Western Conference playoffs and then hope to defeat whoever comes out of the OHL Eastern Conference for a chance at the Memorial Cup. Kerby had a chance to play in the Memorial Cup during his rookie season when he was with the host Mississauga St. Michaels Majors (he was traded home to Windsor mid-season).
Windsor made this trade to get some of the picks they lost due to league enforced sanctions and most things I’ve read believe the Spits are built more for the future – having a lot of 17 and 18 year olds. Kerby becomes the Storm’s third leading scorer – his 16 goals and 23 assists are third on the team in each respective category. Kerby slots into the Storm’s top six practicing on a line with right wing Zach Mitchell (11-17-28) and assist leader (that should help the sniper Kerby) Hunter Garlent (8-25-33) but coach Scott Walker says the lines will be a work in progress for the next little while.
“I think he is the premier power forward in the league,” said Storm GM Mike Kelly. “Sometimes you get that without the scoring touch, but over the last three years he’s been the highest scoring player in the league bar-none. That’s a pretty nice combination.”
I think this deal is good for Kerby as hopefully it gets him some big game experience and some more playoff games after playing in only six after playing 18 the year before. On a negative/positive note if the Storm would get eliminated early Kerby could make his way to Springfield for some games with the Falcons like Boone did the last two seasons. As for next season, Kerby will be in the same boat as Ryan Murray. He can play in the AHL next season as this is his fourth season in the OHL and he’ll turn 20 early next season possibly before opening night. Kerby’s first game with the Storm will be a home game Friday night against Owen Sound with his first game against a fellow Jackets prospect being Saturday against Gianluca Curcuruto and the Whalers in Plymouth.