Kerby Rychel is coming back to North American rinks, signing a one-year AHL contract with the Charlotte Checkers. The forward first signed in the SHL earlier this offseason, and then played seven games in the KHL.
The 25-year old Rychel was originally selected 19th overall in 2013, but after some early-career opportunities with the Columbus Blue Jackets has rarely been seen at the highest level. Bouncing from organization to organization, Rychel has spent far more time in the AHL than NHL, including last season where he recorded 43 points in 57 games for the Stockton Heat.
A power forward with a slick touch around the net, Rychel has found a lot of success in his career including championships in the OHL and AHL. There’s no reason to think he’ll ever become an impact player at the NHL level, but for the Checkers he could very well be a huge addition for their Calder Cup defense.
Charlotte isn’t off to a great start in that defense, currently sitting at 6-6-2 through the first month of the season. The team also added Casey Bailey on a professional tryout recently, giving them some real experience up front to get them back on track. Neither one can help the Carolina Hurricanes without first signing an NHL contract.