Report: Calgary Flames interested in Kerby Rychel

Never stop looking to improve your team, especially when it’s in the midst of a rebuild and a young, talented player appears to be on the market. No, not Jonathan Drouin – although, also Jonathan Drouin – but Kerby Rychel reportedly requested a trade before this season even started.

And the Flames are one of seven teams who have apparently show interest in trading for the 21-year-old.

Of course Brad Treliving has shown interest – why wouldn’t he?

The Columbus Blue Jackets selected Rychel 19th overall in the 2013 NHL draft, just three picks before the Flames chose Emile Poirier. He’s a 6’1, 213 lb. left winger who has yet to make the Blue Jackets thus far, leading to concern on part of his agent, father, and maybe more: hence, the trade request.

It may not be totally unfounded. Though Rychel only has three assists through 11 games with the Jackets this season – and has six assists through 16 games with them, total – he’s performing in the AHL. So far this season, he has five goals and 18 points through 20 games for the Lake Erie Monsters; last season, his rookie professional year, he scored 33 points over 51 games. He would be one of the best players on the Heat with those numbers.

He also has 43 penalty minutes so far this year, so that easily checks the truculence box. Oh, and the fact he has size: he would be the fourth heaviest player on the Flames should he come to Calgary.

It’s unclear what it would take to get Rychel, especially as Columbus is evidently in no rush to trade him: they’ve been sitting on his trade request for months now without much of a peep, so it’s not likely he’ll be moved for next to nothing. In fact, a few months ago Elliotte Friedman reported Columbus’ asking price was too high. (This was back when the Flames were at their lowest point of the season, before T.J. Brodie returned to the lineup.)

The Jackets have a very young team, and they’re right at the bottom of the NHL standings. If it’s picks and prospects they’re after, those would be something Calgary would likely be loathe to part with, considering how they need picks and prospects, too. A change-of-scenery swap could work, but there isn’t really anybody in the Calgary system who requires that.

Defensive prospects do seem to be an area of strength for the Flames nowadays, though, so if that’s what the Jackets still reportedly want, there may be something to work out there. I’d suspect Rasmus Andersson and Oliver Kylington would be on the top of any request list, which would be a high price to pay, as both players have tremendous upside, and a desire to keep them could hold up any trade. 

What do you think Columbus would want from Calgary – and would it be worth Rychel?

  • Why is everyone so excited about this kid? Granted I have never seen him play but to start giving up on one or both of the teams top 2 defensive prospects for him? His numbers are just okay in the AHL. Not bad for sure but also nothing saying he will even make the NHL.

    Just because a recent former first round pick becomes available doesn’t mean we should lose our minds and give the farm for him.

    Personally, if a team was going that rout I would take a chance on Drouin over him. Yeah the asking price would be more but there is more upside with Drouin.

    Rychel looks at best to be a second line winger (long shot) but more likely a 3rd or 4th IF he even makes it to the show.

  • BigRig91

    For me it should be a no to anybody that shots left . That’s the last thing this club needs is another LW. We need big body RW’s that shot right . I love hudler, frolik, and big Joe but they all shot left and struggle with zone entrees. Next time you watch a game tell me how many times the flames even try a zone entry from the right side carrying the puck. Never because we have nobody that can. Jones is are only natural RW, that’s fine but he is and never will be no more than a third forth liner. He just doesn’t have the hockey IQ to be anymore. So my answer is no to Rychel and no to Drouin if we are using any of our A chip prospects. We need big RW’s if we are giving up anything don’t know who that player is but I hope Brad is narrowing it down

      • BigRig91

        Of those who do you honestly think will be a top 6. I have high hopes for Carroll really like this kid. But I’m honest with myself in saying I can’t see any being a top 6.

    • Franko J

      Drouin, Rychel asking for trades when they haven’t proven anything.

      I agree LW is not a organizational need for the Flames.

      Right shooting RW is what this team needs the most.

      What is wrong further developing Ferland? I think his upside is just as good as Rychel or Drouin.

      Historically at trade deadlines and at the draft the # 1 commodity is defenders. Both Kylington and Andersson were drafted to build the defense core for the Flames. Imagine the Flames trading TJ Brodie {hypothetically} when he was 21 for Kessel or Simmons? The Flames system is predicated on generating offense from the backend. Without “D” who can transition the puck to the forwards you can have all elite forwards in the world and won’t matter much. See Pittsburgh.

      It is nice to speculate, and smart on Treliving too see what the market is dictating for both Rychel and Drouin, but I would rather see the organization continue to build from within and continue draft in home talent and have other teams down the road chasing us for the talent and skill we have aquired.

  • Tomas Oppolzer

    Not understanding all the mentions of Poirier for Rychel when Rychel is essentially the LW version of Poirier. Calgary is trying to acquire MORE players like this – swapping out one for the other is counter productive IMO.

  • BurningSensation

    “A change-of-scenery swap could work, but there isn’t really anybody in the Calgary system who requires that.”

    Th best change-of-scenery candidate would be Tyler Wotherspoon. From my standpoint, he’s performed/developed reasonably well for a young D man. For whatever reason, Hartley is NOT a fan.

    I don’t expect Wotherspoon alone would get the deal done, but if you were to include either a second round pick or Morgan Klimchuk, that might work. Then you’d hope to get a 2nd rounder back for Russell at the deadline.

    Poirier hasn’t performed well this year, but I’d rather bet on him long-term than Klimchuk. If Poirier doesn’t make it as a scorer, there are other elements he can bring. Klimchuk is another small-ish, skilled player who may not have the high-end skill to make it all work in pro hockey.