Rebuilds come with them a lot of uncertainty. Almost anyone is available, and the right offer could change things. But going into the 2021-22 season, it seemed like the Arizona Coyotes would have one untouchable player, Jakob Chychrun. Whether or not Chychrun remained untouchable throughout the season is an entirely different story.
Games Played: 47
TOI/Games Played: 23:00
PP TOI: 81:29
PK TOI: 88:38
Last season was a significant shift for Jakob Chychrun. The prior season he was a second-pairing player, and in only 56 games, he set career highs in goals (18) and assists (18).
But things were different this year. The Coyotes were a completely different team, and nobody felt that more than Jakob Chychrun.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson was gone, and Chychrun was the number one guy on the Coyotes’ blue line. Chychrun also saw his long-time partner Alex Goligoski leave for the Minnesota Wild. Chychrun also had to deal with a new coach and system, even if he still had the same assistant coach running the defense.
And like the team in general, Chychrun struggled to start the season. He was a -3 in his first game against the Colombus Blue Jackets, and four days later, he was a -4 against the St. Louis Blue Jackets.
Chychrun had been a key contributor to the Coyotes’ offense, but he didn’t get his first point until his 12th game, when he registered an assist against the Seattle Kraken. Then, three games later, he scored his first goal of the season against the Nashville Predators.
After a shaky start, Chychrun seemed to be starting to regain his footing in November. Still, his momentum was lost when he was sidelined with an injury in December and January, where he missed over a month of games.
Unfortunately, the same thing happened a few months later. Chychrun had a few rough games in January but started to look good as February ended and went into March. From February 25th to March 12th had five goals and five assists in seven games, and he was beginning to look like his former self.
Unfortunately, history would repeat itself. On March 12th Jakob Chychrun sustained a lower-body injury in a game against the Boston Bruins and was limited to just 5 minutes and 51 seconds.
During the season, news got out that teams were interested in Jakob Chychrun, and while General Manager Bill Armstrong was listening to offers, he wasn’t actively shopping him. With Chychrun injured, no trade would occur before the trade deadline.
Ultimately, Jakob Chychrun was limited to just 47 games. But unfortunately, his stats were not all that impressive either. He was limited to seven goals and 14 assists and finished a -20, a career-low.
Not only did Chychrun have to adapt to a new system, a new defensive partner, and rumors that he would be traded, but the injuries really seemed to hamper his play. Twice when it looked like he was regaining his form, he would get hit with an injury in what must have been an incredibly frustrating season all around.
Unfortunately, the injuries to Chychrun make it difficult to evaluate his season. He looked good for stretches, but injuries sidelined him every time he seemed to be building momentum. Who knows where he would have finished the season if he had stayed healthy.
The rumors that Jakob Chychrun is on the trade block have not gone away, so his future is unclear. If the team doesn’t elect to trade him before the draft, they will need to reach out to his camp to make sure that he knows how important he is for the team.
Chychrun is only 24 years old and has three years left on a deal with a $4.6 million cap hit. That contract will take him through most of the rebuild, and Chychrun should still be in his prime as the team gets good.
But, if the team decides to trade Chychrun, he should get a great return. The Coyotes had previously wanted a high pick, a prospect, and a player, which seems like a fair return for a player like Chychrun.