NHL trade deadline: Coyotes finally trade Jakob Chychrun in deal with Senators

After dominating the offseason, the Senators made a big splash ahead of the NHL trade deadline, too.

The Ottawa Senators acquired Jakob Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday in exchange for a conditional 2023 first-round draft pick, a 2024 conditional second-round pick originally belonging to the Washington Capitals, and a 2026 second-round pick.

Ottawa’s 2023 first-round pick is top-five protected, so the Senators won’t lose out on Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli or Leo Carlsson if things go awry. If the 2023 first-round pick doesn’t convert this year, it will turn into an unprotected 2024 first-round selection for the Coyotes. It’s worth noting that the top of the 2023 draft projects to be significantly better than the 2024 cohort. Arizona did not retain any of Chychrun’s salary in the deal.

Chychrun has been on the trade block for the duration of the 2022-23 season. The 24-year-old boasts a cannon of a shot, can play either side of the ice and is very mobile with a propensity to enter the rush. He has recorded seven goals and 28 points in 36 games for the Coyotes this season. Arizona has controlled 48 percent of the expected goals at 5-on-5 when Chychrun is on the ice, per Natural Stat Trick, which won’t blow anyone away, but it's more impressive when you consider he’s played on a moribund Coyotes team that is waiting for the draft lottery.

Chychrun is a star defenseman who celebrates his 25th birthday later this month. If the acquisition cost seems steep, think nothing of it. Players of Chychrun’s caliber are rarely made available, especially when you consider he’s a left-shot defenseman who is still entering his prime, with two years left of team control at a very affordable $4.6 million per.

Ottawa gets an ascending talent who matches the timeline of its burgeoning stars. Chychrun joins the core of Tim Stutzle, Brady Tkachuk, Alex DeBrincat, Drake Batherson, Thomas Chabot and Jake Sanderson — a promising group that ought to grow together and may eventually challenge the powers atop the Atlantic Division as soon as next year.

Jakob Chychrun finally has a new home ahead of the NHL trade deadline. (Photo by Andrew Lahodynskyj/NHLI via Getty Images)
Jakob Chychrun finally has a new home ahead of the NHL trade deadline. (Photo by Andrew Lahodynskyj/NHLI via Getty Images)

After a disappointing start to the 2022-23 campaign following an impressive offseason, the Senators have made a charge up the Eastern Conference standings lately, currently sitting five points back of the final wild-card spot. The Senators' locker room was hoping for a boost at the deadline, and the players got their wish.

“I honestly think we earned the right for [GM] Pierre Dorion to add a player at the deadline,” Senators forward Derick Brassard told reporters on Feb. 27.

Chychrun has spent the entirety of his career with the Coyotes since being selected 16th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft. This trade ends a chapter of his career he’d like to move on from, as he’s been held out of games for trade-related reasons since Feb. 10.

This is a major win for the Senators. The acquisition cost was relatively cheap and they get a player who fits their timeline. Meanwhile, the Coyotes will pray for the Senators’ downfall, hoping they can’t rise through the Atlantic Division gauntlet, with the Bruins, Maple Leafs and Lightning positioned as contenders for the foreseeable future.