The Arizona Coyotes have already traded away four starters and a backup goalie. So why trading Jakob Chychrun now? Wasn’t he “untouchable”? Gone are Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Conor Garland, Darcy Kuemper, Adin Hill, and Christian Dvorak. Trading Jakob Chychrun can’t even be seriously considered.
Arizona Coyotes Trading Jakob Chychrun Doesn’t Make Any Sense
It was revealed recently that over the summer the New York Islanders were inquiring about the availability of Chychrun. Nothing became of it. After that information was released, now other teams have their interests peaked about what it may take to acquire him. Almost every NHL fan knows that the Edmonton Oilers would covet help on their blueline with the addition of Chychrun, but at what cost? Try Kailer Yamamoto, Zack Kassian and the team’s first-round picks in 2022 and 2023. Massive, right? Perhaps general manager Bill Armstrong is trying to trade Chychrun now since his stock may be decreasing.
The 23-year-old defenceman has just two goals and five assists in 26 games in the current campaign. Compare that to last season’s 18 goals, 23 assists in just 56 games. Of course, he is currently on injured reserve. Any team interested in adding Chychrun’s attributes to their roster will pay a pretty penny. The main factor besides his potential is his very attractive contract worth $4.6 million through 2024-25.
While everyone knows the Coyotes are going through a massive rebuild, it was thought that Chychrun would be spared from that. Most general managers will listen to most offers on trades to help improve their hockey club. Would adding Yamamoto and Kassian make the Desert Dogs weaker or stronger? Adding in the valuable draft picks would surely sweeten a potential deal with the Oilers. The key point here is how desperate is Edmonton GM Ken Holland? Probably pretty desperate considering his team has dropped six straight games scoring only nine goals in the process.
Breaking Down a Potential Trade With Edmonton
Just for conversation’s sake, let’s analyze what a potential trade with the Oilers involving Chychrun would look like. Yamamoto, 23 is a right-wing who had 11 goals and 15 assists in 27 games in the 2019-20 season. Since then, he has faltered to just 13 goals and 14 assists in 79 games. Every Coyotes fan certainly misses Conor Garland, and while not saying Yamamoto is a Garland replacement, he certainly is similar to his stature, and a right-hand shot.
One thing to remember is Yamamoto has 29 hits in 27 games this season. He stands just 5′-8″, 153 pounds. Yamamoto is shooting at a 17.9 percent clip and averages 15:31 minutes of ice time. He is a restricted free agent after this season earning $1.175 million. Perhaps getting out from under the shadow of two mega-superstars like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl could ignite his offensive game again.
Kassian is another right-hand shooting right wing. He leads the Oilers in penalty minutes with 31 in 23 games. He has four goals and six assists thus far this season. Standing at 6′-3″, 211 pounds his physicality could be used adeptly by the Arizona club. He is signed through the 2023-24 season at a $3.2 million salary. Adding in Yamamoto’s salary to Kassian’s comes to $4.375 million… very close to Chychrun’s. The downside is Kassian is 31 years old. Still, his toughness could add a whole new dimension to Coyotes who seem to get pushed around by bigger teams on a regular basis.
Jakob Chychrun Deserves to be on a Winning Team
It was also rumoured that Chychrun and his agent Andrew Scott were asking for a trade and that was proven false by Coyotes insider Craig Morgan. “I have been approached by three NHL sources in the past two weeks, who told me that they had heard a rumour that the Chychruns and Jakob’s agent, Andrew Scott, have requested a trade. I don’t think that is accurate, and if you know the family, you’d find that rumour difficult to believe.”
It would not be surprising if Bill Armstrong does trade Chychrun, especially if he receives an offer that he can’t refuse. Much depends on the trading partner’s motivation to do a deal. At this point, both the Islanders and the Oilers seem motivated. That of course, does not mean a trade is imminent. What this means is, Chychrun may be wondering exactly what the rest of us are wondering…. what is going on? Is Armstrong putting his “A” game rebuild pants on? Going for Shane Wright at all costs? We will need to wait and see.
In this writer’s opinion Chychrun, just like the Coyotes isn’t going anywhere.