Rychel’s game is predicated on grit and tenacity. Projecting as a winger at the NHL level, Rychel is willing to go to the dirty areas and wins puck battles consistently. He goes to the net hard and utilizes his size to create traffic and assert himself in the offensive zone.
Rychel uses his body efficiently when protecting the puck and is a difficult player to neutralize. Rychel finishes checks and consistently uses his body to dish out hits and bring a physical element to the forward corps. Head coach Bob Boughner uses him on both the PP and PK and the third year forward has developed into a reliable contributor in both facets of the game.
Finesse is an area that probably isn’t synonymous with Rychel’s style of play. While he does have adequate vision and an adept skill-level, his offensive upside at the NHL level will be more contingent on his ability to drive the net and score the ‘ugly goal’. Rychel’s puck possession game is what will really draw interest from NHL scouts as he cycles the puck well and has a tireless motor.
There’s a reason why scouting goes beyond numbers, and despite a slow start, there’s nothing to worry about with Kerby Rychel. While the Tecumseh, Ont. native will have his proponents and detractors, there’s no denying that he has the upside to be a Top 6 NHL forward. Whether it be Ryan Clowe or Chris Kunitz, Rychel is a competitive two-way forward who’s scoring ability makes him a bit of an X-factor going into 2013. With over 60 games to go in the OHL season, there’s a lot of hockey left to play before those final decisions will be made, but this young forward is certainly on the right path to the big-time.