According to Bob McKenzie of TSN, the Columbus Blue Jackets have dealt forward Kerby Rychel to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for defenceman Scott Harrington and a conditional fifth round pick. If Harrington is put on, then claimed off waivers, the Maple Leafs will surrender the 2017 pick.
The 21-year old Rychel, who was drafted in the first round of the 2013 draft, played 32 games for the Blue Jackets last season and tallied just nine points. He has shown his scoring ability in the AHL however, racking up 60 points over the past two seasons (88 games). His pedigree and youth will fit in nicely for the Maple Leafs as they continue their full re-build.
For Harrington, this is the second time he’s been included in a trade despite only having played 25 NHL games. The left-handed blueliner was included in the Phil Kessel trade from last summer and saw limited time this season on the last-place Maple Leafs. He’ll head to Columbus where he is expected to be sent to the Calder Cup winning Lake Erie Monsters and will have to pass waivers to do so.
The Leafs did well turning Harrington into Rychel, if only because of the log-jam they have on their back end for next season. The team currently has between eight to ten young defensemen fighting for NHL playing time, including recent signee Nikita Zaitsev and last year’s second round pick Travis Dermott.