The Arizona Coyotes needed defense. Jakob Chychrun needed a team. They found a way to make it happen.
Arizona moved up from the #20 pick to #16 in order to select Jakob Chychrun of the Sarnia Sting in a deal with the Detroit Red Wings. The Coyotes took on Pavel Datsyuk's contract and sent back to the Red Wings Joe Vitale, the 20th overall selection, and the 53rd overall selection in this year's Draft.
Dasyuk's contract is a book-keeping move; he will not be paid any actual salary by the Coyotes while they take on his $7.5 million cap hit this season, while Joe Vitale played only one game last season after dealing with lingering concussion issues.
But let's meet the newest member of the Arizona Coyotes: Jakob Chychrun.
Jakob Chychun - Defenseman - Sarnia Sting
2015-16 Stats: 62 GP - 11G, 38A, 51 PIMs
We took a look at Jakob Chychrun earlier this offseason, and much of what we said then applies now. Chychrun has provided decent offense in his time in the OHL and his ability to make good passes out of his own end, which makeshim the ideal two-way defenseman. He has a tremendous frame at 6' 2", 205 pounds, and has demonstrated he will do whatever is necessary to improve and compete at the highest level.
Chris Dilks of SB Nation College Hockey weighs in on Chychrun:
Chychrun's best asset is his strong yet smooth skating ability. He moves well both straight line and laterally, and changes directions really well with smooth pivots. He doesn't do it often, but when he picks his spots, he has the explosive ability to jump into the rush. His skating ability is already pro level. The one thing Chychrun seems to lack is elite offensive instincts.
The biggest question mark surrounding Chychrun is his ceiling; there is a genuine question about whether or not Chychrun has the offensive instincts necessary to become a top-pairing defenseman in today's NHL. That would help explain his fall in the standings; when the season started Chychrun was considered the second best prospect behind Auston Matthews. By the time Draft Week came around there were questions about whether he was even the second best defensive prospect in the draft.
But a steady middle pairing defenseman is still not a bad thing to have, and the Coyotes will be able to give him some time to work on the skillsets they need him to work on. He could very easily jump onto the third pairing as early as next season and receive relatively sheltered minutes behind Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Alex Goligoski if the Coyotes wanted to.
Regardless, Jakob Chychrun by default becomes the best defensive prospect in the team's system. The Coyotes