#3- Jakob Chychrun- Left Defense
Where Did He Come From?
16th overall in the 2016 draft by the Arizona Coyotes, pick courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings who also sent Pavel Datsyuk to the Coyotes for Joe Vitale and the team’s first (#20 - Dennis Cholowski) and and second round picks (#53 - Filip Hronek) in the same draft.
Rank in last year’s 21 under 21? #5
Has He Played in the NHL?: Yes. 68 games played (7-13-20) in his rookie season.
Jakob Chychrun came into the NHL last season as the youngest defenseman in the league. He is almost a month older than the youngest player, Patrik Laine. That is until Clayton Keller joined the team and both became the youngest forward and defensive pair on the team in a long, long time.
When John Chayka traded up for him, a lot of people were unsure of the pick. He had just come back from major shoulder surgery and his game wasn’t as strong as people thought it would be in his draft year, but it didn’t matter. The formerly projected second overall pick was worth the risk. Chychrun took the chance he had at Rookie Camp and Main Camp, taking a spot when Kevin Connauton was injured and never looked back.
Chychrun, at 18, was playing an average of 16:40 a night and used on the penalty kill and power play.
He had his fair share of amazing moments during the season, including his first NHL goal.
His first fight.
And a series of unfortunate hits during a (horribly officiated) Oilers game.
Basically, he had a normal introduction into the NHL at 18 years old.
What does the future hold for Jakob Chychrun?
Right now he is coming back from knee surgery, the status of what happened, we will not know until media day at training camp. (Hopefully it wasn’t from his epic box jumps.)
Head coach Rick Tocchet did say on Sirius XM during the Team Previews, that he would not be out for the whole season.
Hopefully it was something that won’t keep him out long team and he will be back soon. He will most likely slot into the 3rd pairing again this season, unless they move Alex Goligoski to the right side to play with him. Finding the right partner for Chychrun is still an ongoing adventure but they will be able to find them soon.
He will never be the number one in Arizona as long as Oliver Ekman-Larsson is here, but he can be the strong second-pairing defenseman that is much needed.