Arizona Coyotes Jakob Chychrun Developing Into Clutch Player

Jakob Chychrun
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 11: Jakob Chychrun #6 of the Arizona Coyotes battles against Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on February 11, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Coyotes 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

When the Arizona Coyotes traded draft positions with the Detroit Red Wings in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, they acquired defenceman Jakob Chychrun.

Arizona moved up from the #20 pick to #16 to select Chychrun of the Sarnia Sting. He was expected to go higher, but when he didn’t the Arizona club grabbed him. The Coyotes took on Pavel Datsyuk‘s contract and sent back to the Red Wings Joe Vitale, the 20th overall selection, and the 53rd overall selection in that year’s draft.

Jakob Chychrun is Becoming a Clutch Player

Chychrun had 12 goals, 12 assists this season in 59 games which is his career-high. He has two game-winning goals and would have had his third in the game last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs had it not been called back. It was ruled that Derek Stepan interfered with goalie Jack Campbell. The replay displayed it could have gone either way as Campbell was out of his blue crease area when Stepan made contact.

In any case, it could have been back-to-back game-winning goals for the 21-year-old defenceman who was born in Boca Raton, Florida. The 6′-2″, 210-pound defender has 93 blocks and 66 hits this season while averaging 22:28 minutes of ice time.

He has had his share of injuries in his young NHL career, going down with knee injuries twice which required surgery both times. His recovery rate was amazing because he stays in excellent shape and eats right. He has very little body fat and is a physical specimen. He’s that type of player who in the off-season keeps himself in shape and focuses on getting ready for the new season.

Jakob Chychrun Getting More Responsibility

Jakob has been a good performer on the power play collecting five extra-man tallies. He has a booming shot from the point and is an adept passer. You will see that he has learned the proper time to cheat from the blueline and rush down into the offensive zone to create some scoring chances.

Because of his improved play, he was rewarded with a six-year $27.6 million contract in November of 2018. It’s looking like a good return on investment for the team. He has teamed up with veteran Alex Goligoski for the most part and they have done a great job of defending for the Coyotes. Goligoski has assisted on six of Chychrun’s goals playing the right side. His partner rambles down the left side of the ice.

Chychrun has been on a scoring streak of late tallying two goals, three assists in his last five games. His power-play goal with a minute left in their game against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night shows he’s got a wicked shot. His offensive capabilities are just improving game by game and should be used more frequently. He’s come into his own and looks to be a fixture on the Coyotes blueline for years to come.

Jakob Chychrun’s Future

It’s quite apparent that general manager John Chayka made an excellent move in acquiring Chychrun in the draft. The possibilities of him becoming an all-around skilled player are already appearing with each season. He is a second-pairing D-man now. Who knows if he continues his stellar play, he can move to the top-pairing one of these days.

Right now, he’s concentrating on helping his team qualify for the playoffs. Some more clutch goals or helpful assists will certainly be welcomed in that effort. He has some terrific speed to go along with his deft stick work and play-making abilities.

The future seems bright for the young Florida native. He’s on a path for success and playing with a lot of heart and desire.

You can’t ask for much more than that.

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