The Arizona Coyotes are about to get some reinforcements after an already impressive stretch of play, at least compared to expectations. Defenseman Jakob Chychrun and forward Nick Schmaltz are set to return to the lineup next Monday when the Coyotes take on the Nashville Predators, according to general manager Bill Armstrong, who spoke with PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan.
As previously reported, though, it seems like Chychrun won’t play more than a handful of games as a Coyote this year. Trade speculation around him has been constant for around a year, and as of the last notable update almost a month ago, the Coyotes’ asking price for the young defender remains on the high side. He’s missed the first month of the season with an ankle injury that kept him out of the end of last season, as well as a separate wrist injury sustained late last month. The 24-year-old is coming off a down season but had 41 points in just 56 games during the 2020-21 campaign. The 16th overall pick in 2016 is a legitimate top-four defenseman regardless, and players like him don’t come around on the trade market often.
Schmaltz, who had a resurgent campaign last year with 59 points in 63 games, left the team’s season opener in the first period. He’s been out since with an upper-body injury.
In an anticipatory transaction, the Coyotes today also sent down forward Laurent Dauphin to the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners. The minor-league veteran played just one game with the Coyotes this year, but has eight points in eight games with Tucson.