Jakob Chychrun’s return to action is great news for a lot of people. It’s great for the Arizona Coyotes because it means their best defenseman is healthy and contributing in big ways. It’s also great news for the rest of the NHL because now they can assemble their best offers for the 24-year-old blueliner because he still wants to play elsewhere.

Chychrun is in the prime years of his career and, unfortunately, the Coyotes haven’t improved a ton.

Most NHL teams should line up to land him. Elliotte Friedman shared that Chychrun’s desire is a contending team, and Chychrun’s $4.6 million cap hit makes it relatively easy to trade him even with most of the teams in the league at the cap or using LTIR to stay compliant.

Chychrun is also more attractive to teams because he’s under contract for two more seasons after this one. Any trad isn’t a rental, which means it’s got to be a juicy one. On the 32 Thoughts podcast, Jeff Marek reported that the Coyotes are looking for a trade package similar to the one that landed Brent Burns in San Jose from Minnesota back at the 2011 NHL draft. That trade had Burns and a second-round pick go to the Sharks for a first-round pick, top prospect Charlie Coyle and established scorer 24-year-old Devin Setoguchi.

Before the season, Lyle Richardson looked at five of the best trade fits for Chychrun, but with new desires from Chychrun and new information out there as to who has an expressed reported interest, we’re revisiting the best landing spots for the defenseman. Let’s look at them now, and if you’ve got better ideas or just want to yell about these, hit the comments and let us know.


5. Columbus Blue Jackets

After a surprising campaign last year, the Blue Jackets have struggled mightily this season. They’ve had trouble scoring goals, and they’ve had even more trouble preventing them, which has led to plenty of losses.

The Blue Jackets have a marketable presence to them. They added Johnny Gaudreau, they’ve had scorer Patrik Laine and defenseman Zach Werenski, and they drafted blueliners David Jiricek (sixth) and Denton Mateychuk (12th) in 2022. Mix in rookie Kent Johnson and you’ve got the building blocks of what can be a good team. Alas, things don’t always go as planned.

Laine has been injured a couple of times this season and Werenski is out long-term with a shoulder injury. They’ve also been without other key depth players due to other ailments. All that and the goaltending going south have conspired to bury Columbus in last place in the Metropolitan Division. If the Jackets want Chychrun to be part of the solution, they’re going to have to get creative to make it happen.

Outside of the recently drafted players I mentioned, the Blue Jackets are lacking in high-end prospects. While they have plenty of top draft picks to use in a deal, one look at their prospect pipeline would tell you they’re not exactly in a position to deal many (or any) of them to add a player who might show up unhappy because they’re not an immediate contender and then walk out the door after the 2024-25 season.

None of these kinds of things have stopped Columbus GM Jarmo Kekäläinen in the past from making bold moves to improve the team (see: Artemi Panarin). But with all the holes in the current lineup and the questionable nature of what they have on the way, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for the Jackets to go this big right now unless they have a great idea of what they’re going to do down the road.


4. Ottawa Senators

The big plans the Senators had going into the season have not played out well to start the year. They are last in the Atlantic Division and have been going through it in all facets of the game. And while they have a lot of very good young forwards, their defense needs a lot of help.

Thomas Chabot and Jake Sanderson are super players, but taxing Chabot with playing obscene amounts of ice time (he averages nearly 26 minutes per game) and asking Sanderson, a rookie, to play nearly 21 minutes per game is beyond stressful. The Senators desperately need Chychrun, but the question for GM Pierre Dorion is how far would he go to land him?

The Senators have their first-round picks to use as the main selling point, but when it comes to prospects, they don't have many from which to pick. Forward Shane Pinto is having a great rookie season with nine goals. 2021 first-rounder (10th overall) Tyler Boucher and 2020 first-round pick (28th overall) Ridly Greig, both forwards, stand out as marketable players for a deal. Defenseman Lassi Thomson, the 19th overall pick in the 2019 draft, is getting his game better acclimated to North America in the AHL.

Unfortunately for Ottawa, those are the standouts, and there aren’t any prospects taking a big run up the depth chart yet. Adding Chychrun would give a huge lift to the blue-line group in Ottawa, and even though Dorion declared the rebuild “done” 15 months ago, its best players are on the NHL roster right now or are injured (Josh Norris).

The package to get Chychrun might cause weaknesses to open elsewhere in the lineup or vacate the prospect pool. It would be a bold move, assuredly, but one that could cost the Sens dearly.