2009-10: Tanner Richard split the season between the U20 and U17 teams for Rapperswil in Switzerland. He scored 3 goals with 6 assists and had 4 penalty minutes in 12 U20 games. Richard was the leading scorer for Rapperswil U17. In 15 games he scored 12 goals with 30 assists and had 63 penalty minutes. In six relegation games he scored 4 goals with 8 assists and had 10 penalty minutes.
2010-11: Richard made his pro hockey debut in Switzerland and led Rapperswil’s U20 team in scoring. He represented Switzerland at the 2011 U18 World Junior Championship. Richard had 1 assist in eight games, including four relegation contests, for Rapperswil in the Swiss National A League. Rapperswil avoided relegation after finishing 11th in the 12-team league in the regular season. Richard skated in nine games for Wetzikon in one of the lower Swiss leagues and had 2 goals with 4 assists and 66 penalty minutes. In U20 play he scored 11 goals with 32 assists and had 72 penalty minutes. Rapperswil U20 finished third in the regular season and reached the playoff semifinals. In 10 playoff games Richard scored 2 goals with 11 assists. He was the leading scorer for seventh-place Switzerland at the U18 WJC, scoring 4 goals with 1 assist, and was plus-one with 2 penalty minutes in six games. Richard was selected by Guelph (OHL) in the first round (28th overall) of the 2011 CHL Import Draft.
2011-12: Richard skated in 43 games for Guelph in his first OHL season – getting off to a good start before suffering an “upper body injury” that kept him out for a month late in the season. He played for Switzerland at the 2012 U20 World Junior Championship. Richard scored 13 goals with 35 assists and was plus-four with 46 penalty minutes for the Storm. Guelph finished fourth in the OHL’s Midwest Division and faced Plymouth in a six-game first round playoff series. Richard scored 1 goal with 4 assists and was minus-four with 6 penalty minutes in the Plymouth series. Richard scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was plus-one with 6 penalty minutes in six games for eighth-place Switzerland at the U20 WJC. He was invited to the NHL Draft Combine and, in his second year of draft eligibility, was ranked 41st amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft.
2012-13: Richard made his pro hockey debut with Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate in Syracuse and signed a three-year, entry-level contract in April of 2013 following his second OHL season with Guelph. He had 3 assists and was +1 with 6 penalty minutes in eight AHL games. The Crunch finished first in the East Division and reached the AHL Finals against Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids but Richard did not see any action in the playoffs. He played 52 games for Guelph, scoring 11 goals and finishing ninth in the OHL with 51 assists, and was +18 with 94 penalty minutes. Guelph finished fourth in the Midwest Division and lost to Kitchener in a first round playoff series. Richard had 3 assists and an even plus/minus in five playoff games.
2013-14: Richard played in 65 of 76 regular season games for Tampa Bay AHL affiliate Syracuse in his first pro season. Providing both toughness and supplementary scoring in a second and third line role, he scored 2 goals with 15 assists and was -9 with 95 penalty minutes. The Crunch finished fifth in the East Division, missing the AHL playoffs.
2014-15: Richard provided a physical element while finishing as the fourth-leading scorer for Lighting AHL affiliate Syracuse in his second season with the Crunch. He scored 13 goals with 25 assists in 70 regular season games and was +12 with 135 penalty minutes. The Crunch moved to the Northeast Division in the re-aligned AHL, finishing second behind Hartford, and were swept by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in a best-of-five first-round playoff series. Richard played in two of three playoff games, scoring 1 goal and finishing +1 with 2 penalty minutes. He was one of the players recalled by Tampa Bay for their playoff run but had not yet dressed for a game heading into the conference finals.
Richard plays a strong two-way game and is a skilled playmaker who is strong defensively with a physical element to his game. He is willing to stand up for teammates but is more than just an enforcer/energy type player. He generates scoring chances with his quickness, instincts and determination in small areas. He is not expected to be a big scorer at the NHL level but does the kind of things that win games for his team.
Richard showed an offensive side to his game to go along with his toughness in 2014-15 in his second season with Tampa Bay AHL affiliate Syracuse. Entering the third year of his original three-year entry-level contract, he should challenge for a lower line spot with the NHL club in training camp. With a deep forward group in Tampa Bay he may have to start the year back in the AHL with the Crunch. Long-term he projects as a third- or fourth-line forward. His progress to this point suggests he is on the way to meeting that potential.