On Tuesday, Nov. 13, the Arizona Coyotes re-signed defenseman Jakob Chychrun to a six-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $4.6 million. For both Chychrun and his club, this deal is a nice compromise that will work out for years to come.
Chychrun, drafted 16th overall in 2016, has had troubles staying healthy throughout his entire career. Most recently, he was sidelined for Arizona’s first 16 games of the season before making his debut against Detroit on the same day that he signed his extension.
“Jakob is a young, highly skilled defenseman with an incredibly bright future,” general manager John Chayka said in a press release. “He has battled through some adversity with injuries the last two years, but we remain confident that he has the necessary size, talent and work ethic to be one of our core players for many years to come.”
Coincidentally, it was with Detroit’s pick that Arizona selected Chychrun. In a deal to absord Pavel Datsyuk’s contract, the Coyotes moved up four spots in the draft and ultimately selected Chychrun.
Since joining the Coyotes out of camp in the season following his draft, Chychrun has accumulated 34 points in 119 career games. Defense has always been a mainstay for the Boca Raton, Fla. native, as he never eclipsed point-per-game status with Sarnia in juniors either.
Despite Chychrun’s stay-at-home style and his injury history, the new deal is a win for both sides.
For Arizona, it locks up a top-four defenseman and a mainstay penalty killer for long-term and at cheap value. If Chayka had waited another season to pass by where Chychrun could prove himself to be worth more, then perhaps the price would have been driven up.
For Chychrun, it gives him financial stability and a place to call home for the long-term future. For many players with deeply-rooted injury histories, that is all that can be wanted.
The only other players locked up past 2021-22 for Arizona are Christian Dvorak and Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Although the Chychrun deal was solid for both parties, Chayka has plenty of work ahead of him, but he subsequently has plenty of cap space to wiggle around with, too.
The future of the Coyotes is beginning to look bright. With Chychrun and Ekman-Larsson manning the point for years to come, stability will begin to form — and that is all the desert ever needed.