On Monday’s episode of Insider Trading, TSN’s Darren Dreger named the St. Louis Blues as one of eight teams linked to Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun.
There’s no secret the St. Louis Blues need to upgrade their defense at the trade deadline if they have any hopes of reaching the playoffs. If Tuesday night’s 4-1 loss to the Senators says anything, the Blues could use Jakob Chychrun.
Chychrun is the cream of the crop among candidates rumored to move teams before the March 21 trade deadline. He will command a significant package as he is only 23 years old and has team control on a great contract.
His recent play has been concerning, but on Tuesday night’s 9-2 win over the Red Wings, Chychrun scored two goals to net his fourth and fifth goals of the season to push his point total to 19 on the year.
The Coyotes are trying to do their best not to win the draft lottery with some great performances lately, and Chychrun continues to raise his stock as he has seemed to turn his season around in the last two weeks.
The demand for Chychrun is going to be high and will cost at least a pair of high draft picks with some prospects. Would the Blues be interested in moving on from Scott Perunovich or Jake Neighbours in a potential trade package?
It’s difficult to project Neighbours’ involvement with the Blues long term. He had an average nine-game trial with the NHL club to begin the season, and based on his performance, he seems like a fringe top-6 player who can throw his body around and score the occasional goals.
Perunovich currently sits on LTIR but projects to be a player similar to current Blues defenseman Torey Krug. He is a quick, offensive-minded skater whose passing ability rivals that of Robert Thomas.
Still, the cost for Chychrun would likely require one, if not both, of those players along with additional draft picks. The good news for St. Louis is the Blues still have their first-round picks for the next three seasons.
If they were to pull off a deal to acquire Chychrun, it would change the course of the franchise for the foreseeable future. The Blues would have a defensive core consisting of Krug, Justin Faulk, Colton Payrako, Niko Mikkola, and Robert Bortuzzo. Throw Chychrun in the mix, and the Blues have the best blue line in the league.
The problem with a potential trade for the young defenseman is the interest of other teams around the league. With a rumored eight teams involved, including the Panthers, Kings, Bruins, Hurricanes, and Ducks, the Coyotes’ recent move to the Central makes it more challenging.
The price will already be sky high for any team that inquires on Chychrun’s services, but if Arizona is going to trade him within the division, you can go ahead and double the price.
He isn’t a rental that is going to play for the Blues for two months and then signs a contract with an Eastern Conference team that Arizona will see twice a year. No, they will see their prize defenseman for the foreseeable future, and we’ll see if Bill Armstrong wants to even entertain a trade to his former team.
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Arizona is in a place where they can maintain a good amount of cap space if they need to. The Coyotes have a little over $6 million in cap space. Whatever team trades for Chycrun, it will be a Jack Eichel-like return.