NHL Rumours: Arizona Coyotes High Asking Price for Star Defenceman

Jakob Chychrun trade

Once again, the Arizona Coyotes navigate an NHL season expecting to sell pieces at the trade deadline. Last season, Johan Larsson, Scott Wedgewood, Riley Nash, Ryan Dzingel, Ilya Lyubushkin, and Carter Hutton all departed Arizona through February and March. A season earlier, Derek Stepan repped the team as their “big fish” to sell.

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Even the summer months between seasons saw flurries of activity from the franchise. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Conor Garland, Darcy Kuemper and more left the team via trade in June, July and August of recent years. As a result, Arizona already possesses 31 draft picks over the next three drafts. And with additional big names available to be dealt, that number could grow even larger. This season, rumours swirl around Coyotes defenceman Jakob Chychrun.

NHL Rumours

Coyotes Jakob Chychrun Trade Price High

That said, Chychrun’s name swirled in the rumour mill for years already. After all, the 2022-23 season represents his seventh year in the NHL, all with Arizona. Aside from the bizarre 2019-20 postseason, Chychrun has no NHL playoff games under his belt. The pandemic resulted in a truncated regular season that year, and a whopping 24 teams received a shot to “qualify” for the playoffs via tournament format. Sure, they won their play-in series against the Nashville Predators. But the Colorado Avalanche deposed of them swiftly in the real first round, and they’ve spent every year in the league’s cellar since then.

So yeah, fans pondered on Chychrun’s future for quite some time now. And his contract makes the urgency surrounding a trade feel more real now ever than before. After this year, a ten-team modified no-trade clause kicks in. So, this is the final year in which Armstrong can entirely control the list of trade partners. And even though the 24-year-old would be a major addition to any playoff calibre team, many clubs have been priced out by the asking price set by General Manager Bill Armstrong.

A Look at the Jakob Chychrun Trade Asking Price

Unsurprisingly, Armstrong wants quite the return for his prized left-shot defenceman. The argument he makes? Chychrun, without a doubt, joins any team in the league as a top-pair defender. Plus, he carries a modest $4.6 million cap hit, one that lasts through the 2024-25 season to boot. He only logged one game to-date this season, but just got cleared to return to action on November 21st following wrist and ankle injuries.

Sounds great for Chychrun’s prospective destinations. But, all those positives mean higher expectations for the assets heading back to Arizona. TSN reported in their Insider Trading podcast that the franchise won’t budge, yet, on those expectations either.

And at the moment, that means: two first round picks, plus more.

What this Means for the Future

Sure, that sounds like a lot. But the Anaheim Ducks landed a first, two seconds, and two prospects for Hampus Lindholm last year. He was considered a rental too, with a contract expiring in the summer. Yes, he signed a large extension when he arrived in Boston. That’s not even something the team adding Chychrun has to consider, with another two years after this current season left on his deal. Plus, he’s younger than Lindholm.

Plenty of teams can and should hear the Coyotes out on that price. The Florida Panthers desperately need help on their blueline. The New York Rangers sure would enter the contender conversation if they could add a player with Chychrun’s calibre without subtracting too much from their roster in return. Heck, the Toronto Maple Leafs always get connected to every rumour out there, so throw them in the mix too.

Chychrun logged 23:04 in his first game of the season on Monday. The showcase has already begun, and surely all three teams above (and plenty more) are taking notes.