The Windsor Spitfires and Guelph Storm have completed a blockbuster trade that includes one Canada's best young prospects.
The Spitfires traded its captain Kerby Rychel and veteran defenceman Nick Ebert to the Guelph Storm late Tuesday. In return, the Spitfires received winger Brody Milne and eight draft picks.
The picks include Guelph's second-round pick in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018; Kitchener's third-round pick in 2016; Guelph's fourth-round pick in 2015; and Windsor's fourth-round pick in 2014, returned to the Spits after a previous deal.
The deal also includes a conditional 15th-round pick in 2017.
"Obviously it's a tough trade to make with two impact players on our team." team GM and Kerby's father Warren Rychel said in a media release. "But with an exceptionally tough Western Conference, we think it was important to take a step back now in order to take a big step ahead down the road."
The picks replenish a depleted number of draft picks after the Ontario Hockey League stripped the team of first-round draft picks in 2013, 2014 and 2017 because the Spits violated the league's player benefits and recruitment rules and policies.
Kerby Rychel was named to Canada's national junior team selection camp roster earlier this week. The Columbus Blue Jackets prospect had 16 goals and 23 assists for the Spits this season.
"It's tough," he said of the deal. "The city and organization gave me so much in my time here. I've made so many good friends. It's hard."
He said joining the Storm is "huge."
"They are a really good team. I've heard nothing but good things about the organization. I'm excited to get there and get going," he said.
Meanwhile, in Windsor, Warren Rychel said Milne is the type of player that can excel in a new role.
"We're excited to get Brody here. We think he will do very well here with increased ice-time," the GM said. "He was playing for a very good team in Guelph, behind some very good forwards. He will get every chance to play here and have an impact."
Milne, a six-foot, 180-pound left-winger, had 10 goals, 10 assists and 14 penalty minutes over parts of two seasons with the Storm, including eight goals and seven assists in 28 games this year.
He is expected to be in Windsor on Wednesday, and will be in the lineup on Thursday night as the club hosts the Saginaw Spirit.
Guelph is 20-5-2-1 in the OHL's Midwest Division. Windsor is 17-10-0-0 in the league's West Division.