BUFFALO — Toronto made a late move on Day 2 of the 2016 NHL Draft, acquiring former first-round pick Kerby Rychel from Columbus in exchange for d-man Scott Harrington, and a conditional draft pick.
The trade, first reported by TSN, puts an end to Rychel’s oft-contentious stint with the Jackets organization. Despite repeated rumblings that Rychel — the 19th overall pick in 2013 — wanted out of town, GM Jarmo Kekalainen stood firm in the face of the reports, once openly wondering where they came from.
Eventually, though, Rychel was shipped out.
The son of ex-NHLer Warren Rychel, Kerby is certainly an interesting prospect. A former standout with OHL Windsor, he’s spent most of his professional career with Columbus’ AHL affiliate, and helped it capture the Calder Cup this year.
The 21-year-old had good regular season production (27 points in 37 games) but didn’t generate as much in the playoffs, with just one goal and six points in 17 games.
That said, Kekalainen told the Columbus Dispatch that Rychel’s Game 2 effort in the Calder Cup final was “one of the best games I’ve seen Kerby play.”
All told, Rychel’s appeared in 37 games at the NHL level, scoring 12 points.
As for what Columbus gets out of this deal — well, Harrington split this season between the Leafs and Marlies. He’s still relatively young, only 23, and is a former high pick himself (second round in 2011). He could be a nice depth guy for the Blue Jackets, though there is this clause to consider: