COLUMBUS, Ohio - It was rumored yesterday, but tonight, it was finally made official: Blue Jackets prospect Kerby Rychel has been traded from the Windsor Spitfires (OHL) to the Guelph Storm.
Part of a blockbuster deal that was thought to be inevitable as Windsor struggled early this season, Rychel instantly upgrades a Storm club that has legitimate aspirations for an OHL championship. With the Memorial Cup being held in nearby London - and no doubt, the Knights would have loved to add to their formidable lineup with Rychel, the Jackets' first-round pick at No. 19 overall (2013) - Guelph had to strike quickly and they paid a steep price.
The Storm traded a player (Brody Milne) and eight, yes eight, draft picks to the Spitfires in exchange for Spitfires captain Rychel and teammate Nick Ebert, one of Windsor's veterans on defense. The hope is that, for Guelph, Rychel adds to a team that's already very strong at forward and he might be one of the last pieces needed to assemble a championship caliber team. And judging by this deal, they're going for it.
Small, semi-related note: Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin played his junior hockey in Guelph and his wife, Sarah, is from the area.
Spitfires GM Warren Rychel, Kerby's father, said in a team-issued statement that while it was a difficult move to make, he feels the Spitfires are in a good long-term position. And who could argue with the acquisition of eight futures and a player that could help them in short-term, as well?
"Obviously it's a tough trade to make with two impact players on our team," Rychel said. "But with an exceptionally tough Western Conference, we think it was important to take a step back now in order to take a big step ahead down the road."
Here's the breakdown of the deal:
Kerby Rychel (F)
Nick Ebert (D)
Brody Milne (F)
Guelph's 2nd in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, Kitchener's 3rd in 2016, Guelph's 4th in 2015 and Windsor's 4th in 2014.