If Coyotes Open To Trading Jakob Chychrun, Bruins Should Make Heavy Push

The cost to get him would undoubtedly be massive, however

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December 15, 2021

A team “gauging the market” on a player doesn’t guarantee they’re ticketed for a new team in the not-too-distant future, but when you consider the Arizona Coyotes are in a rebuild right now, Tuesday’s rumor on Jakob Chychrun should raise antennas.

Sportsnet Elliotte Friedman on Tuesday reported that the Coyotes are gauging the market on the 23-year-old defenseman and that the ask is huge.

Not every player who comes with a massive price tag in a trade is worth it, but unless the ask from Arizona is absurd, the Boston Bruins should seriously consider paying whatever it is the Coyotes want for the rising star.

Chychrun is that elusive minutes-eating left-shot defenseman the Bruins have been eyeing for a while now. He’s seen his ice time increase over the years, and with Oliver Ekman-Larsson now out of the picture, Chychrun is averaging a whopping 24:50 a night. An uber-talented two-way blueliner, he can run a power play, clear the zone by himself or with a deft first pass and is intelligent defensively. It helps that he’s willing to use his 6-foot-2, 210-pound frame to work over opponents.

Historically a 20-plus-point player, Chychrun is coming off a career offensive season in 2021 in which he had 18 goals and 23 assists in 56 games.

For the Bruins, Chychrun would represent the end of the cycling of partners for Charlie McAvoy. Chychrun would immediately slot in on the top pairing, giving Boston two bona fide top-duo D-men. Both he and McAvoy could play freely knowing the other is capable of putting out fires when needed, and neither would have to overdo it to keep their pairing afloat in any zone.

It would also free Matt Grzelcyk and Derek Forbort up to play roles perhaps better suited for them. Grzelcyk could play on the second pairing with Brandon Carlo, while Forbort could be the physical third-pairing presence. That would leave Mike Reilly, Jakub Zboril, John Moore and Connor Clifton vying for one spot in the lineup, which would be some impressive depth.

Helping all of this is the immensely team-friendly contract Chychrun is on relative to his production. He only carries a $4.6 million cap hit and is signed through the 2024-25 season, though the actual cash due to him raises in the final two years of the contract. There are few non-entry level contracts out there as valuable as Chychrun’s — and if there’s anything we know about the Coyotes this season, it’s that they’ll take on money to get a trade done. That could help make a deal work financially for the Bruins, who might have to get a little creative to fit that cap hit in under the cap, especially if Tuukka Rask also returns.

Again, the cost could ultimately be prohibitive. Arizona certainly knows players like Chychrun don’t grow on trees, so the package going back must include a haul commensurate with that reality. But sometimes you need to swing for the fences, and considering all of the factors, Chychrun is someone that Don Sweeney could justify pushing all his chips to the middle for.

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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