Rumours are swirling regarding Jakob Chychrun and the Ottawa Senators
It’s no secret that the Arizona Coyotes have been shopping Jakob Chychrun since last year’s deadline. When he wasn’t moved prior to March 21st, it was widely speculated that he would be a member of a different team before this coming season began. Yet here we are, late August with the season on the horizon, and Jakob Chychrun is still a Coyote. There have been no shortage of rumors of where the young d man could go; and the Senators have been heavily connected as a destination should a trade go down. So what could that mean for general manager Pierre Dorion? His aggressive approach to the offseason has been a whirlwind for the fanbase; albeit a welcome and sorely needed one. Could he put the icing on the proverbial cake and shore up the defensive core with a proven commodity?
Chychrun is a talented defenseman. He has the ability to be an offensive threat while holding down his side of the ice on the defensive end effectively. Chychrun has goal scoring ability from the blue line while having all the mobility that you want to see in a top pairing defenseman. This is a player worth his price tag and then some. So why am I hesitant to say the Sens should go all in for him?
The one thing I want to make perfectly clear is that I truly like this player. If the circumstances were different, I’d say make this deal in a heartbeat and don’t feel one shred of apprehension. But there’s a major flaw in Chychrun’s fit in Ottawa. He is a left-handed defenseman; meaning he wouldn’t be a natural fit next to Thomas Chabot. Why does that matter so much? Some players can move to their offside with minimal issues; so perhaps the Sens should just acquire the talent and figure it out later. I’d argue that move would be reckless, as the price tag for a player of Chychrun’s caliber is going to be hefty.
Two first round picks along with a high end prospect to bring in Chychrun while shedding Zaitsev. Moving on from the latter’s contract would be a positive for the Sens, but it also comes with replacing the minutes on the ice where he’d be playing. On a team that’s already hurting for right handed dmen, that’s not as easy of a task as fans may want to believe. Including two first rounders also is quite the hit to a team that already traded a first a few months ago. Depending on how well this team performs those picks could end up becoming expendable; but it’s a wildcard that could come back to haunt them. The real issue in this deal could come from the high end prospect that Arizona would want in any Chychrun deal. There’s two players that I would look at in any deal if I were running the Arizona Coyotes. I need to have one of forward Shane Pinto or defenseman Jake Sanderson. Both are seen as highly important pieces of the Senators future young core; and if I’m moving on from a top pairing defenseman I need to score one of them.
This is where I pause on making this move if I’m Pierre Dorion. That’s just too heavy of an ask for a player that while incredibly skilled, may not necessarily be the best fit for my team moving forward. The sentiment I’d want fans to look at, and a fact I need to remind myself from time to time, is that this is a young team. Going all in for any player right now is just something that doesn’t need to happen. I’ve wrestled with this opinion piece on Jakob Chychrun because I’m so high on the player. But if he shows he can’t play on his offside, then the team would be forced to play him or Chabot on the second pairing. Having two incredibly skilled left handed defenseman on two seperate pairings is a luxury. But to me it’s just that; a luxury move for a team that already has all of their core spots filled up. With that in mind, when it comes to trading for Jakob Chychrun, I’m a reluctant no.