LONDON, Ontario – For someone who is technically a Memorial Cup rookie, forward Kerby Rychel has a lot of valuable experience to draw upon when it comes to junior hockey's championship tournament.
The Columbus Blue Jackets prospect, selected in the first round (No. 19) of the 2013 NHL Draft, was 11 years old when he attended the last Memorial Cup held in London in 2005. He witnessed an all-time classic when Sidney Crosby played his final games in junior hockey, representing the Rimouski Oceanic, and the London Knights won that franchise's first title led by future Anaheim Ducks star Corey Perry and a number of other players who are now in the prime of their NHL careers.
Four years later, Rychel was in Rimouski, at the Memorial Cup held there, taking morning skates with the Windsor Spitfires. He was able to do that because the Oceanic was and still is managed and co-owned by his father Warren, who played for five different NHL teams over a 12-year career. The young Kerby was overjoyed to see the powerhouse Spitfires win the Memorial Cup that season.