Is the Asking Price for Chychrun Too High?

In case you were unaware, it has been reported by multiple sources that Arizona’s asking price for Chychrun consists of two first-round draft picks and a prospect. Clearly, other teams perceive the asking price to be steep as Chychrun has played over a quarter of a season with Arizona despite his late start to the season. But here are some reasons why Arizona’s asking price is reasonable and just.

Playing Abilities

Currently, Jakob Chychrun is playing some of his best hockey and has shown potential to be a Norris trophy candidate. Chychrun has played a great defensive game this season and has shown his offensive prowess. He is a top-four defenseman who can play on the left and right side, log large amounts of playing minutes, and play in all situations. His talent and skill will truly boost the blue line of any team.

Cap-Friendly Contract

Upon first glance of Chyhcrun’s playing potential, you might think that his cap hit is around the $5 million to $8 million range, like most teams’ top four defensemen. But, Chychrun’s cap hit is only  $4.6 million. Given how hard it is for competitive teams to have talented players and remain cap compliant, just look at the Toronto Maple Leafs or Tampa Bay Lightning’s usage of LTIR and $18 million over the cap two years ago; Chychrun’s contract is very cap-friendly especially since Arizona could retain some of his salary.

Chychrun is NOT a Rental Player

In addition to his $4.6 million cap hit, Chychrun still has two more seasons left after this one on his current contract, which is set to end after the 2024/25 season. Starting next season, Chychrun will have a modified no-trade clause. Thus, Chychrun will likely not be a rental player and dip for another team at the end of the season like most other players traded at the deadline. A contending team can do so much if they have a contract like Chychrun’s.

Prime Chychrun

After recovering from a knee injury, Chychrun has been stellar this season and proved to others that he is in his prime and just getting started. Acquiring Chychrun is like investing in GICs; it is a fairly safe, low-risk investment.  Yes, there is the risk that Chychrun may not be as successful on the team because of insufficient chemistry, lack of a fit, and injuries. But, draft picks and prospects can be risky because there are a variety of factors that could negatively affect their development, and they may not reach the playing potential that they are forecasted to have. Thus, high drafts can be busts or regrettable; just look at Nail Yakupov, Nolan Patrick,  Rick DiPietro, and Alexandre Daigle.

For all these reasons, the Arizona Coyotes should receive their wishes in exchange for Chychrun. It’s not every day that a talented defenseman like Chychrun is available. The team that acquires Chychrun will clearly be taking some risks on him, but Arizona will also be taking risks with the draft picks and prospects that they receive in return. That said, hopefully, a deal can be done sooner rather than later because it’s already dragged on long enough.

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