Scottsdale, Ariz. – Arizona Coyotes star defenseman Jakob Chychrun still wants to be traded to a Stanley Cup contender, but he won’t let the move affect how he plays for the Central Division team.
“I’ve been here for a while now and the way I operate and go about my business, I’m trying to improve every day,” he noted on Wednesday, the eve of the start of camp. training of the Coyotes.
“I’m only going to focus on continuing to improve and be healthy – that’s obviously the most important thing right now.”
Chychrun won’t be ready for the start of training camp and possibly for preseason games after undergoing wrist and ankle surgery during the offseason. He will play for the Coyotes as soon as he is ready, but the team may trade him to another club later.
The Coyotes are entering the second year of a rebuilding period that began pre-season with the trade of veteran players for draft picks.
Last season, the Coyotes finished second to last in the Bettman league and are expected to find them in the bottom end this year as well.
The team approached Chychrun over a possible swap deal before the start of last season and again when the campaign got under way. However, the Coyotes couldn’t find a return they deemed acceptable for one of their best players.
“At the start of last season, I thought a lot and had some very, very emotional and difficult deliberations with my loved ones and family,” Chychrun admitted. We ultimately decided to accept their offer and try to get a better situation.”
The 24-year-old has been a mainstay of the Coyotes’ roster, serving as a first-pair defenseman and a leader in the locker room.
Chychrun, who is six-foot-two and 220 lbs, is both a tough player and a finesse player. In 2020-21 he scored 18 goals and had 23 assists in 56 games. Last season, he had 21 points in 47 games.
“It’s a position that can help both sides. For me, I can be traded to a team that has a chance to win and a team that is fighting for the Stanley Cup and for them they will be able to get some parts for the future, Chychrun said. I understand how rebuilding processes work. I think it could be mutually beneficial.”