The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to leave no stone unturned on their quest to ice the best lineup possible before the NHL Trade Deadline on Monday, March 21st.
Perhaps the greatest asset that has been the subject of recent Toronto Maple Leafs trade rumours is the Arizona Coyotes top defenseman, Jakob Chychrun.
Chychrun led all NHL defensemen with 18 goals last season. He’s a 23 year-old former first round pick who is signed to a $4.6 million deal until 2025.
Toronto Maple Leafs fans may remember him as the guy who held up Auston Matthews and then scored the game winner after the missed call in overtime that sent Matthews screaming at the referees last week.
The Arizona Coyotes seem to be trading away anything that’s not tied down, but why would they want to part with a young asset like Jakob Chychrun? They don’t, but if they are tendered a deal they can’t refuse, they can’t refuse.
Toronto Maple Leafs Potential Trade for Jakob Chychrun
Back in January, Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reported that the Coyotes asking price for Jakob Chychrun “is a young player, a high-end prospect plus a first-round pick.”
Considering that Chychurn is a star player, who is not yet reached his prime, and who is on a very team friendly contract, the price would be astronomical. Think something like: Rasmus Sandin, Nick Robertson and a pick.
Really, the odds of a trade like this getting done aren’t great. The Arizona Coyotes are in no rush to move Chychrun and most teams are going to be looking for cheaper but more experienced rental players before the trade deadline.
As for the Leafs, that kind of package means such a trade might not even help them all that much.
Jakob Chychrun had a great offensive season last year, but his defensive game isn’t great and his offensive numbers have declined this season. He also shoots left and the Toronto Maple Leafs would be better off acquiring a right handed defenseman.
The Coyotes would also be more likely to trade with a team guaranteed to have a higher first rounder than Toronto, and they’re probably eying up young players and prospects that the Leafs don’t want to trade like Nick Robertson, Nick Abruzzese, Matthew Knies, Topi Niemela, Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren.
The Toronto Maple Leafs certainly could acquire Jakob Chychrun, and he is a great young player with potential, but they may be better off concentrating on acquiring a cheaper defenseman that they can rely on defensively.
With the NHL Trade Deadline just days away, we’re heading into crunch time for teams looking to get deals done. I’m always excited around this time of year to see what the Leafs can get. It’s just like Christmas time.