Craig Morgan of AZSports tweeted that the Arizona Coyotes have inked the second of their two, 2016 first-round draft choices, defenseman Jakob Chychrun, to a three-year ELC. Chychrun, selected 16th overall in last month’s draft, likely has only an outside chance at cracking the Coyotes roster on opening night as the club already has eight blue liners with NHL experience under contract. It’s far more likely the team will elect to return him to his junior club for more seasoning.
Originally slated to select 20th overall, the Coyotes moved up four slots in a deal with Detroit that also saw Arizona absorb Pavel Datyuk’s $7.5MM cap charge. The trade allowed the Wings to clear significant cap space from their books while moving back just a few positions in the draft. Detroit also picked up a second-round choice, 53rd overall, which the team used on defenseman Filip Hronek. Meanwhile, Arizona put themselves in position to take a player they liked tremendously and had even considered drafting with the seventh overall selection.
Chychrun played his junior hockey with the Sarnia Sting of the OHL. In 62 OHL contests, Chychrun tallied 49 points and boasted a +23 plus-minus rating. His father, Jeff, appeared in 262 NHL games, spending time with Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Edmonton and Pittsburgh in a career spanning parts of eight seasons.
First year GM John Chayka has been among the league’s busiest executives this summer. Chayka added D Alex Goligoski via trade and LW Jamie McGinn and D Luke Schenn as free agents to bolster a young but talented roster. He also re-signed team captain Shane Doan and restricted free agent defenders Michael Stone and Connor Murphy to new contracts. Whether these additions will help get the Coyotes back into the postseason or not remains to be seen but Chayka has shown he is unafraid to make impact moves so far.