How has Jakob Chychrun fared on the Senators so far?

EDMONTON, CANADA - MARCH 14: Jakob Chychrun #6 of the Ottawa Senators lines up for a face off in the third period against the Edmonton Oilers on March 14, 2023 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Lawrence Scott/Getty Images)
EDMONTON, CANADA - MARCH 14: Jakob Chychrun #6 of the Ottawa Senators lines up for a face off in the third period against the Edmonton Oilers on March 14, 2023 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Lawrence Scott/Getty Images) /

How has Jakob Chychrun fared on the Senators so far?

On March 1st, the long-coveted 24-year-old defender, Jakob Chychrun was traded from the Arizona Coyotes to the Ottawa Senators. For months he was on the radar of the Senators fanbase but it seemed like a distant dream due to the astronomically high asking price by the Coyotes and interest from other teams. However, as time went on, the market for Chychrun grew thinner as teams started to acquire other defenders. This allowed Senators General Manager Pierre Dorion to step in and acquire Chychurn.


In the 2014 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) priority draft, Chychrun was selected first overall by the Sarina Sting. Due to his relatively successful rookie season, he was named to the First All-Rookie Team and Third All-Star Team. Continuing to showcase his dominance in his second season, he helped his team to secure a spot in the playoffs while being named to the Second All-Star Team. As a result of his success, he was regarded as one of the top defenders going into the 2016 NHL draft before eventually being selected by the Coyotes 16th overall.

Chychrun’s tenure with the Coyotes lasted for 6 years while never appearing in more than 70 games in a single campaign. In terms of overall production, his best season was in 2020-21 when he put up 41 points in 56 games while finishing first among defenders in goals scored. His underlying numbers were solid too as he had an xGF% (Expected Goals For Percentage) of 51.58% while being tasked with one of the harder match-ups on his team. Then, this season before being traded to the Senators, Chychrun was on a bit of a heater as he put up 28 points in 36 games. Meanwhile, his xGF% was third on his team among those that played over 10 games.

Jake Chychrun injured. dark. Next

Injury concerns

While on the trade block, a major concern many teams had about Chychrun was his tendency to get injured. As mentioned earlier, he has never played in more than 70 games in a season. During his rookie campaign, he participated in 68 games, which was the most he had ever played. Even with the Senators, he only played in 12 games before getting injured. This injury will set him back a couple of weeks despite the team needing his services as they continue their hunt for the playoffs. Due to the injury risk presented with Chychrun, the Senators will need to be cautious with how they utilize him.

Play on the Senators so far

Before getting injured, Chychrun’s impact has been felt all over the ice as a top-four defender. In those games, he has averaged a bit under 20 minutes in all situations which ranks third on the team. He has also experienced a plethora of power play opportunities as he has played over a minute in each game except three. Creating dangerous chances when given the opportunities as shown in the clip below.

Defensive partner

Chychrun’s most frequent defensive partner is Nick Holden, followed by Travis Hamonic. At times DJ Smith mixes the lines up and pairs Chychrun with various defenders including Thomas Chabot, Jake Sanderson, Artem Zub, and Erik Brannstrom. Although it is a small sample (34 minutes) Chychrun has played best along Chabot as the pair put up an xGF% of 56.7%.


Individually, Chychrun’s production this season has slowed down since coming over from Arizona as he is scoring goals at a lower rate per 60 minutes (albeit a small one as it is 0.5 vs 0.48). The rate at which he assisted slowed down too as his total assists per 60 have more than halved from 1.5 to 0.71. Meanwhile, he has not recorded a single primary assist with the Senators yet.

A reason for this slowdown in production could be due to a decline in on-ice shooting percentage. While Chychrun played for the Coyotes, it was 10.83% but after coming to the Senators, it declined to 7.69%. As a result, the number of goals that his team scored while he was on the ice –– using the Goals For (GF)/60 metric –– declined from 3.65 to 2.86. This reduction occurred despite an increase in chances with his Chance For (CF)/60 and xGF/60 both increasing.

Offensive impact

While comparing his offensive impact to his teammates on the Senators, it is apparent that he has a positive influence overall as he has a relative xGF/60 of 0.08 and relative CF/60 of 5.69. From these numbers, it can be inferred that Chychrun tends to shoot often from the point and opts for quantity over quality. This is also evident in the number of shots that Chychrun takes –– 7.47 per 60 minutes –– which is the second most among defencemen (behind Travis Hamonic).

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Defensive Impact

Despite having decent offensive numbers, Chychrun seems to be having slight problems on the defensive side of the game. In terms of GA (Goals Against)/60, Chychrun has been on for the most amount of goals on the Senators with 3.71. This is likely due to the number of quality chances that he gives up as he has the highest xGA/60 and High-Danger Chances Against (HDCA)/60. Interestingly, as opposed to his offensive impact, he doesn’t give up as many quantity chances as his Chances Against (CA)/60 is tenth on the team. Due to Chychrun frequently giving up quality over quantity chances, it makes sense that his on-ice save percentage is the worst on the team as goaltenders may have more difficult time-saving shots.

Chychrun’s defensive impact, or lack thereof, is interesting considering he was decent on a bad Arizona team. This could be attributed to Chychrun being sheltered to boost his trade value while on the Coyotes and then being placed in more difficult situations on the Senators. While on the Coyotes, Chychrun’s offensive zone start per 60 minutes was 9.23 this season compared to 6.25 the season prior. Meanwhile, on the Senators, it is 7.42. His defensive zone start per 60 minutes increased as well (albeit just slightly) when moving from Arizona to Ottawa, from 8.69 to 8.97.


Digging deeper, the Senators have utilized Chychrun to face tougher opponents as of his total ice time, 44% of it was against “elite” competition. This is the first time Chychrun’s total ice time against “elite” competition was above 40%, with the second highest percentage being 31.8% in the 2019-20 season. Utilizing him in this way allows other Senators’ defenders such as Chabot and Sanderson to face easier opponents, consequently taking the pressure off of them. In the past, Chychrun has struggled against “elite” competition (per PuckIQ) and only recorded a DFF (Danger Fenwick For)% –– a weighted shot metric –– of above 50% once, back in the 2018-19 season. On the Senators, this percentage dipped to a bit below 40%, which was the first time this occurred since his rookie season. Meanwhile, in the limited time he has played against competition that is considered “middle” and “gritensity”, he has been performing well with a DFF% of 52.9% and 55.3%.


Acquiring Chychrun allowed the Senators to fill a positional need in a top-four defenceman. Although Chychrun has not yet fully adjusted, he has been instrumental on the team. Based on the underlying analytics, Chychrun has been creating a positive impact overall, mostly on the offensive side of the game. He still needs some work on the defensive side, especially as he is tasked to face tougher competition. However, this workload could be reduced as players such as Sanderson progresses in the upcoming seasons. The Senators will need to continue monitoring Chychrun’s health and being careful of how they deploy him as he has a history of injuries. Overall, Chychrun brings stability to the Senators’ back end as the team looks to be competitive for years to come.

Unless stated otherwise, stats refer to 5v5 among players who have played over 100 minutes. The stats from this article come from Dobber Frozen Pool, MoneyPuck, NaturalStatTrick and PuckIQ.