The Arizona Coyotes are now on the clock in SB Nation's 2016 NHL Mock Draft. With the 7th overall selection, the Coyotes choose to fill a longstanding need in their prospect pool by selecting Jakob Chychrun of the Sarnia Sting.
Jakob Chychrun - Defenseman - Sarnia Sting (OHL)
2015-16 Stats - 62 GP - 11 G, 38 A, 51 PIMs
A native of Boca Raton, Florida, Chychrun is everything you'd want from a defensive prospect: size, maturity, and sheer potential. Chychrun recorded 11 goals and 38 assists in his second season with Sarnia. He's worn the "A" since his arrival in the OHL, and has a proven work ethic by travelling every weekend from Florida to Michigan while in bantam to find tougher competition.
Chychrunv would become the Coyotes' leading defensive prospect almost by default; Arizona is largely bereft of offensive talent on the blue-line, let alone two-way playmaking ability. Dysin Mayo's last season in the WHL was a step back, while Jarred Tinordi and Philip Samuelsson have not proven that they can be consistent NHLers.
For Arizona, Chychrun would become a counter-balancing force in the top four to right-handed shots like Michael Stone and Connor Murphy. A Chychrun-Stone middle pairing would give Stone more freedom to use his offensive skills while providing a balanced scoring option on his side to both cover his mistakes and give him more freedom to operate.
Defensive prospects rarely jump to the NHL immediately after getting drafted. At 18, Chychrun has more developing to do. But he should provide a much needed boost to Arizona's defense, and has the potential to blossom as an NHL regular right as Arizona's window begins to open.
We'll have more on Jakob Chychrun later today. And we'll be back in SB Nation's Mock Draft later next week as the picks progress.