Jakob Chychrun's confirmation of his trade request last week garnered plenty of attention as well as speculation over where he could end up. While the 24-year-old defenseman was frequently linked to the Ottawa Senators this summer, the St. Louis Blues are also thought to be a suitor.
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek weighed in on Chychrun's situation during a recent “32 Thoughts” podcast. Friedman believes the Blues were interested in the Coyotes' blueliner and could remain so this season.
The Blues have puck-mover Torey Krug on the left side of their defense but they could use another reliable top-four rearguard there. Chychrun could provide a significant boost of skill and experience.
Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong has been holding out for a significant return. GOPHNX.COM's Craig Morgan doesn't expect him to lower his asking price. It's believed Armstrong wants assets that would include at least one first-round pick plus a top prospect or a good young NHL player.
Friedman cited an NHL team telling him that Ryan Ellis' status with the Philadelphia Flyers could be hurting Chychrun's trade value. The Flyers acquire the 31-year-old Ellis last summer from the Nashville Predators but injuries have limited him to just four games.
Like Ellis, Chychrun is a skilled, mobile defenseman but also has a well-documented injury history. He's currently rehabbing an ankle injury and remains uncertain for the start of the coming season. Interested clubs will want to see how he performs once he returns to action and if he can stay healthy this season.
Friedman also thinks Senators center Shane Pinto is one player the Coyotes like. However, he believes Ottawa management has made it clear that they're not parting with him to acquire Chychrun.