As Jakob Chychrun nears a return from injury, trade speculation around the young defenseman has reignited. Rumors of Chychrun being dealt by the Arizona Coyotes reached a fever pitch last season just ahead of the trade deadline, but an injury suffered on March 12th against the Boston Bruins cost him the remainder of the season and the beginning of this one as well. An exact return date for the defenseman had not been set, but many had expected it would be at some point towards the end of Arizona’s six-game road trip to start their season. However, as discussed earlier today, he is still considered week-to-week.
This evening on the 32 Thoughts segment of Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek discussed the current market for Chychrun. Marek notes the asking price on Arizona’s end holds firm at two first-round draft picks, “plus,” meaning some combination of additional draft choices, prospects, or roster players. This ask has appeared palatable for a number of teams in theory, but talks appear to become difficult when the “plus” is brought up. This has become most apparent when it comes to the Ottawa Senators.
Marek reports that discussions on the likes of forwards Ridly Greig and Shane Pinto or defenseman Jake Sanderson are not on the table for the Senators. Considering Chychrun’s talent, age, and cost-controlled contract (three-years, $13.8MM including 2022-23), the player makes perfect sense for an Ottawa team that is just turning the corner in their rebuild, but could use a boost on their blueline.
Still, it’s unclear exactly what the package requested from Ottawa looks like. The Senators aren’t the only team looking at Chychrun, and realistically many teams are likely interested at the possibility of acquiring him given the above, but Marek does list the Los Angeles Kings as another possibility beyond Ottawa, a name we’ve hear before in the Chychrun rumors. With Arizona’s high asking price for the 24-year-old, and the win-now nature of the move, a team like Ottawa or Los Angeles who have a deep system of young talent and are ready to take the next step are two of the most conceivable trade partners in the Chychrun sweepstakes.