For more discussion on Jakob Chychrun trade rumours, check out Episode 112 of our podcast!
Jakob Chychrun has emerged as one of the most appealing trade targets around the league for the 2021-22 season. Arizona is in full rebuild mode as they stockpile all of the draft picks, and to do that they have done a full overhaul on their roster. One of the few remaining players is Jakob Chychrun.
After an amazing 2020-21 season that saw Chychrun score 18 goals (to lead all NHL defenders) and finish 10th in defender scoring with 41 points, he became a quick sell-high candidate for the Coyotes. They ultimately retained him for the time being as they needed a top defender after Oliver Ekman-Larsson was traded. But, 2021-22 has not gone very well for Chychrun so far. Dealing with injuries, he has only recorded 7 points in 26 games, putting some question marks on his trade value. Don’t forget, though, that being on Arizona this season is not going to do anyone’s statline any favours.
One of the most appealing parts of Chychrun as a trade target is that he is not a rental/deadline acquisition. He is signed for 3 more seasons at a $4.6M cap hit, very reasonable for a player of his calibre. Over his career, he has been a consistent 20-point player averaging at least 20 minutes of ice time per game. He is oft-injured, however, with a career high of 68 games in his rookie season in 2016-17 (he did play all 56 games in 2020-21).
The Jakob Chychrun trade rumours have been heating up over the last few weeks, going so far as for Elliotte Friedman to suggest that Chychrun may be the first big trade of 2022.
At this point, the question is not if Jakob Chychrun gets traded, but it seems to be more along the lines of where he will end up. Despite concerns around the defensive side of their lineup, Friedman did suggest the Edmonton Oilers are not very seriously in the mix for the Coyotes defender. Who else does that leave as candidates for a Jakob Chychrun trade? Let’s look at a few of those teams down below.
This could very easily be the year that the Florida Panthers make a push to try and win a playoff series for the first time in 25 years. They have the roster to do it and as of the writing of this article, sit 2nd in the league in points and points percentage.
With an amazing forward group led by Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau, the Panthers have built an insanely deep supporting cast up front and have to be happy with how they perform as the team sits second in the league in goals for. However, their goals against is middle-of-the-pack and will be an area the team needs to improve on if they want to make a Cup run anytime soon.
That is where Jakob Chychrun comes in. Chychrun is from Florida himself, as he was born in nearby Boca Raton. An ideal situation to bring in a hometown kid with ties to the organization dating back to his dad, Jeff, who was a member of the Panthers organization. Jakob spent time in his youth around the Panthers team.
On the ice, Chychrun would be a fantastic fit for the Panthers’ defense. There will be no expectation on him to be a number 1 or top pairing guy, as Florida has 2 amazing defenders in Mackenzie Weegar and Aaron Ekblad taking those roles. That gives Chychrun a solid spot on the second pairing, a bit out of the spotlight and with weaker line matchups, to excel.
The Panthers’ second pairing is currently Gustav Forsling – Radko Gudas, and Chychrun presumably would push Forsling down to the third pairing. This just gives a team that needs more depth the opportunity to add it for a Cup run.
As Arizona is basically set on wanting picks and prospects for Chychrun, you’d have to look at the team’s forward prospects like Owen Tippett, Aleksi Heponeimi, and Grigori Denisenko as primary targets for the Coyotes to take in return. In addition to a first or second in 2023, as Florida has already dealt away their top picks in 2022. With the Coyotes having a fairly weak roster to begin with, they might look for an NHL ready replacement as well, so maybe one of the defenders, like Forsling or Lucas Carlsson, that would get pushed down or out of Florida’s depth chart could find their way back in the package.
The Boston Bruins have been less than impressive so far this season. They aren’t doing bad, but they are a distant and comfortable fourth in the Atlantic Division and second wild card spot. For a team we regularly see competing for the division title, if not President’s Trophy, there might be some desire from within the organization to stay competitive while the team still has Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak performing at a high level.
One of the major weak spots with the Bruins roster at the moment is the defensive depth. They’ve had massive amounts of turnover and loss in that position, especially in the left side, and find themselves with LD depth of Matt Grzelcyk, Mike Reilly, and Derek Forbort.
Jakob Chychrun would immediately improve this left side lineup and slot in, I imagine, on the top pairing alongside Charlie McAvoy. As of the writing of the article, Chychrun’s 7 points would be tied for second on the Bruins defense in scoring. So even in a slump or difficult season, Jakob would be a decent offensive addition to the back end. It seems logical to assume that playing defense when Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak are on the ice would give Chychrun more points than his current situation in Arizona, as well, possibly helping him return to his pace from 2020-21.
Boston may have a bit of difficulty putting together a desirable package for Arizona as their prospect pool is quite weak. Fabian Lysell is probably their best prospect, but I don’t think it would be wise to trade him. They might be able to leverage Jack Studnicka or Urho Vaakanainen with a couple of draft picks and Derek Forbort or Mike Reilly, however.
Yet again, the Washington Capitals are dominating the regular season. Currently sitting tied for second in points and tied for fourth in points percentage, the Capitals are having a strong season despite some major losses due to various injury and illnesses. With the team’s main core aging and likely only having a couple more seasons left, I feel the Capitals will want to make one final push for a Cup before the next wave of teams, like the Panthers, Rangers, Hurricanes, or Maple Leafs, take over the Eastern Conference.
Washington is very often in the market for a defender at the deadline, with past acquisitions like Michal Kempny making a huge impact on the team’s playoff performance. So it seems like a natural fit that Washington might try to make a play for Jakob Chychrun, especially with him being signed to a very reasonable contract for a few more seasons.
Now, the Capitals have been doing sufficiently well defensively, as Burke describes in Episode 112 of our podcast, so there may not be much desire to make a change. But with left side defensive depth of Dmitry Orlov, Michal Kempny, Martin Fehervary, and Trevor van Riemsdyk, I could foresee the Capitals looking at Chychrun as an appealing option to improve the second pairing and give them some consistency in that spot. He might even end up being an option for the top pairing on this team, given the fluctuating nature of their defensive pairings.
Washington might have a bit of cap maneuvering to do in order to fit Chychrun in, but if they make this trade you could imagine Kempny or Nick Jensen (both at a $2.5M cap hit) would be in the return package. The Capitals would be able to fit the pick requirements, as they have a pick in every round the next couple seasons. But, I am unsure if Washington would want to give up any of their top prospects, such as Connor McMichael or Hendrix Lapierre. That might be what it takes, depending on what Arizona ultimately settles on for their return ask.
Vegas Golden Knights
I would be remiss if I didn’t include Vegas in here as they seem to be involved with nearly everyone who hits the trade market. It is extremely unlikely they find a way to fit all of this under the cap, especially once Jack Eichel returns from injury. But they do have a couple of players, like Evgenii Dadnov and Alec Martinez, who could find themselves dealt to create more cap space as we get closer to the trade deadline.
How do you think the Jakob Chychrun trade will end up? Where does he get traded to and for what? Let us know on social media, you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!. Make sure you check out our podcast as well, find it on any major streaming platform!