COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Mere minutes after selecting a player in Alexander Wennberg who was high on their list, the Blue Jackets selected another prospect they hold in high regard.
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Columbus made Kerby Rychel of the Windsor Spitfires their second pick in the first round of the NHL Draft at No. 19 overall, and there's a lot to like about Rychel's aggressive style - and that's in addition to his knack for scoring goals and racking up points. He led the Spitfires in goal-scoring for two straight years, scoring 40 goals in 2012-13 and totaling 87 points, which was good for eighth in the entire Ontario Hockey League.
Rychel is the son of former NHL player Warren Rychel, who played for five NHL teams and won a Stanley Cup with Colorado in 1996. Along with former Blue Jackets assistant coach Bob Boughner, Warren Rychel is the part-owner and general manager of the Spitfires, and they have built a junior hockey powerhouse in southern Ontario.
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, Kerby Rychel made a name for himself by getting under opponents' skin and unnerving players in the OHL playoffs. Scouts like his ability to score big goals while also playing his role to a "T," and his north-south style should be a good fit with what Jarmo Kekalainen and the Blue Jackets are trying to build.
Here's a quick rundown from NHL Central Scouting:
“He's the type of guy who, when competing really hard, is very effective. When he's banging around and separating guys from the puck, that's when he's really on his game. He has a good shot and the ability to pass the puck in traffic.”