The 2021–22 season is fast approaching. Here at Five For Howling, we’re taking a look at this year’s 25 best Arizona Coyotes players under the age of 25.
Jakob Chychrun’s placement atop our list of the top U-25 Coyotes shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Honestly, it only would’ve been shocking had his ranking as No. 1 not been unanimous. Chychrun received top billing on all five of the lists submitted by participating Five For Howling contributors.
2020–21 league: NHL (Arizona Coyotes)
NHL Games played: 56
NHL Goals: 18
NHL Assists: 23
Highest individual ranking: 1
Lowest individual ranking: 1
Last year’s ranking: 1
Chychrun has blossomed into one of the NHL’s premier players.
He finished 10th in voting for both the Norris Trophy and the end-of-season all-star team in 2021 after leading all NHL defensemen with 18 goals and finishing second on the Coyotes with 41 points in 56 games.
Chychrun logged a ton of minutes for Rick Tocchet’s squad, averaging a team-leading 23:23 per game. He spent 3:44 each game on special teams, including 2:45 on the power play.
Since the end of last season, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Alex Goligoski, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jason Demers, and Jordan Oesterle have all left the Coyotes organization. So general manager Bill Armstrong brought in Shayne Gostisbehere, Anton Stralman, and Conor Timmins to try and help pick up some of the slack.
That being said, Chychrun will undoubtedly be asked to do even more in 2021–22.
Expect to see him regularly manning one of the team’s penalty-killing units, especially after he provided the Coyotes with a solid +0.7 defensive goals above replacement on the PK (according to Evolving-Hockey) in his limited usage last season.
Chychrun’s six-year contract started with the 2019–20 season; since then, he’s provided the Coyotes with $15.8 million of “standings points above replacement” value (according to Evolving-Hockey) against his total cap hit of $9.2 million over those two seasons.
The 23-year-old left-handed defenseman has four more years left under contract to the ‘Yotes at an average annual value of $4.6 million.
Barring a trade or a massive regression, expect to see Chychrun right back in this spot on our list around this time next year.