Jakob Chychrun Has Emerged as Top Defenseman for Coyotes

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - MAY 05: Jakob Chychrun #6 of the Arizona Coyotes during the NHL game against the Los Angeles Kings at Gila River Arena on May 05, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Kings defeated the Coyotes 4-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Drafted 16th overall by the Arizona Coyotes in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Jakob Chychrun was a highly touted defensive prospects and was considered to be one of the best defenseman available in the draft.

Chychrun would make the Coyotes straight from the draft and put up an impressive rookie season before having the next few plagued with significant injuries which brought into question his durability and longevity. Pair it with a new contract extension from former GM John Chayka to the tune of six years for $27.6 million that raised eyebrows before Chychrun would put together a complete season again and cause for concern was fair to be had.

Frankly, a lot can be said about the former GM even in the midst of new information recently published but one cannot deny that looking at it now, the Chychrun extension along with Christian Dvorak were the best moves by a landslide for the organization paired with Darcy Keumper.

Last year during the COVID shortened season, Chychrun emerged as an offensive force for the Coyotes backend putting up career best in goals and points. While he may be more known for his offensive abilities, Chychrun has also been solid in his own end which brings us to him having emerged as the true number 1 defenseman on the team.

To date, Chychrun is poised to match and potentially beat his 2019-20 offensive numbers in a further shortened season that will see him hit the ice for a projected 56 times. On the defensive side of the puck he leads all defenseman on the Coyotes in CF% along with Oliver Ekman-Larsson, leads in FF%, as well as has the best offensive zone starts (oZS%) vs defensive zone starts (dZS%) spread than any other the team. Each night and seemingly each shift, Chychrun is a presence on the ice whether it’s defending in his own end or aiding the offensive possession in the attacking zone.

Chychrun has quickly rebounded from injuries of past seasons to become a dominating and effective force on the backend for the Coyotes both offensively and defensively. At $4.6 million per year for the next 4 seasons, his contract is simply a steal.

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