Between now and the trade deadline, there are going to be developing stories around the league about available players and where they might go. So, we’ll build on the reporting by giving insight into what these players on the block can do and what an acquiring team will be adding to their lineup.
Jeff Marek reported on the trade market for Chychrun last weekend, noting Arizona would be looking for a “young player, a high-end prospect, plus a first-round pick” in exchange.
Most teams should kick the tires on Chychrun. It’s rare to find a defender in or near the prime of their careers on the market -- especially while signed to such a cost-effective deal. He has another three full seasons at a reasonable cap hit of $4.6 million.
It’s easy to write him off for being a minus-29 on the season, but that doesn’t give nearly enough insight into the player he is. It’s been far from a perfect season for the Coyotes, and that environment is tough for most to thrive in. A look back to just last season gives a more accurate view of who Chychrun is -- an effective two-way defenceman.
His stick work on both ends of the ice shined last year. On a team that sorely needed the help, the defender blocked passes and retrieved loose pucks to help limit chances against. Plus he showed the ability to bring the puck into the offensive zone with control.
There, the standout of his game was obviously his shot, which he converted with 18 times. He primarily generated shots from the left point, but moved up when the opportunity arose, and was able to connect from in tight as well.
After shooting just over 10 per cent last year, it’s no surprise Chychrun’s regressed this season in the scoring department. That said, this much of a decline in his game wasn’t anticipated (two goals in 26 games). Then again, look at the team around him. That’s why a trade should help him find more support and put him in a position to rebound.
Chychrun’s a match for young clubs hoping to be playoff teams in the near future (like Anaheim) because he won’t just help a team right now, but potentially long-term as well. On a weak Coyotes team, he was the clear No. 1. On a contender, he could easily slot in anywhere in the top-four.