Senators Acquire Defenceman Jakob Chychrun from Arizona

Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

In their seemingly never ending quest for another top four defenceman, the Ottawa Senators have had their eye on Arizona Coyotes defenceman Jakob Chychrun for a long time.

With less than 48 hours until the NHL trade deadline, the two sides finally made a deal, with the Coyotes sending Chychrun to Ottawa.

For a lot of reasons, this looks like an outstanding deal for Senators’ GM Pierre Dorion. He gets an excellent, 6-foot-2, 220 pound defenceman in Chychrun, who turns 25 this month. Not only does he upgrade Ottawa’s blue line for a very late playoff push, he’s not a 90 day rental, which is even more important. Chychrun is under contract for two more years after this and now in a position to grow with the Senators young core.

In return for Chychrun, Dorion parts with:

  • Ottawa’s 2023 first round pick (Conditional)
  • Washington’s 2024 second round pick (Conditional)
  • Ottawa’s 2026 second round pick (OTT)

The 2023 first round pick is top-5 protected. If it ends up being a top 5, the pick converts to a 2024 first round pick, unprotected. Additionally, should the Sens reach this year’s Eastern Final, the second round pick–the one they got for Connor Brown last summer–becomes a 2024 first round selection, top 10 protected. If that pick ends up being a top 10, it flips to a 2025 first round pick, unprotected.

Dorion definitely gives up three valuable future assets but when it comes to draft picks, they’re never a sure thing. Besides that, the Senators window of opportunity is opening now, not in four years when (or if) those picks finally emerge. What Dorion doesn’t give up is a good young player off the existing roster like Shane Pinto or Ridly Greig.

In Chychrun, there’s no guesswork – they know exactly what they’re getting. He’s a proven, young NHL commodity with a reasonable contract with a cap hit of $4.6 million for the next two years and change.

“A defenceman we’ve coveted, Jakob is big and imposing,” GM Pierre Dorion said in a press release. “He possesses a quality skill set; he defends hard and is highly skilled. He uses his heavy shot with accuracy and is effective at creating offence as a threat at the offensive blue line.”

Chychrun was chosen 16th overall at the 2016 NHL draft and was still on the board when Dorion, then a rookie GM, took Logan Brown at 11. Dorion obviously had some favourites at that draft – you never forget your first – later revisiting that class to scoop up the likes of Chychrun and Julien Gauthier from round one, along with Alex DeBrincat, Filip Gustavsson (now in Minnesota) and Dylan Gambrell from round two.

Another of Dorion’s favourites player traits are American-born players whose dads played pro hockey. Jakob’s dad, Jeff, grew up in Ottawa and played over 200 games in the NHL, mostly with the Flyers in the late 1980s. Jakob’s sister and grandfather both still live in Ottawa.

Chychrun will wear #6 and join Ottawa’s top four with Jake Sanderson, Thomas Chabot, and Artem Zub. Of that group, only Zub is a right shot so it’s likely that either Chychrun or Sanderson will be asked to play the left side.

Chychrun’s last game was February 10th when the Coyotes sat him down until they could work out a trade. So not only do the Sens get a player who upgrades their blue line for a playoff push, they get the league’s most well-rested player. At least he will be after a good, long, post-flight nap.

Quick Hits:

Sogaard, So Good: Goalie Mads Sogaard was just named the NHL rookie of the month for February. Sogaard posted a 4-0-1 record with a 2.33 goals-against average and a .922 save-percentage. His NHL readiness will be crucial down the stretch with Cam Talbot having an injury prone season and Anton Forsberg out of the season.

Kane is Able: Future Hall of Famer Patrick Kane makes his Rangers’ debut Thursday night. The Sens hope maybe he left his scoring touch back in Chicago. Kane has destroyed the Sens over the years with 33 points in 20 career games against Ottawa.

Big Game for Brass: Derick Brassard will play his 1000th NHL game Thursday night at MSG in New York. If it can’t be Ottawa, that seems like a perfect spot to celebrate a fine career. Brassard had his most productive years in the NHL as a New York Ranger.

By Steve Warne

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