This reported asking price for a Chychrun swap is high; Should Bruins pay it? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Now that Bo Horvat is out of the trade market and recently signed an eight-year contract extension with the New York Islanders, the best player rumored to be available could be Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun.
The 24-year-old defenseman is a two-way star who plays 20+ minutes a game, contributes to special teams and produces offense at an impressive rate. He’s also a good size at 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds. His contract, which covers the 2024-25 season with a friendly salary cap of $4.6 million, is ideal for teams close to the cap.
Chychrun going to a top contender for the Stanley Cup would be a major addition to that team. He is That Well.
The problem for these teams may be cost. The Coyotes’ asking price for Chychrun, according to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic’s board, is two first-round draft picks and a prospect. This is a high cost.
The Boston Bruins, along with the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings, are among the playoff contenders who have inquired about Chychrun, LeBrun said on TSN’s “Insider Trading” Tuesday.
Should the Bruins pay the asking price for Chychrun? The short answer is yes.
Still, that kind of cost would be a bigger gamble for the Bruins than many other teams. The reason is that the Bruins have already given up three of their last five first-round picks in trades. They also don’t have their 2023 or 2024 second-round picks — both were included under the Hampus Lindholm deal with the Anaheim Ducks ahead of last year’s trade deadline. IB have not been drafted in both the first and second rounds of the same draft since 2017. They have not been drafted in the first and third rounds last year.
The 2023 draft class has been labeled by pundits as deep and loaded with elite talent. It’s one of the reasons why only four 2023 first-rounders have been traded so far, and only one of them is unprotected.
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Can the Bruins really afford to give up two more early players when their prospect pool is already so weak? After right wing Fabian Lysell and defender Mason Lohrei, the quality of the Bruins’ prospects really drops. Nearly every other contender has better prospects for offering a team like the Coyotes.
But as difficult as it would be to divest even more assets in the future, this veteran core of Bruins deserves a major upgrade. Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci signed contracts in the off-season for much less than their actual value. Brad Marchand is playing on one of the friendliest contracts in the league. If you go up and down Boston’s roster, almost every player meets or exceeds expectations. The Bruins are on track to have one of the best regular seasons of all time. These players have earned the kind of upgrade Chychrun would represent.
The Eastern Conference playoffs are going to be pretty tough.
The first round could pit the Bruins against former Stanley Cup champions like the Washington Capitals or Pittsburgh Penguins. The pesky Islanders with Horvat are another potential Round 1 opponent. The second round would have been against either the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Tampa Bay Lightning. The most likely conference final opponent is the Carolina Hurricanes, and we know how tough of a matchup they are for the B’s.
Bolstering the blueline’s depth and talent would be really helpful for the Bruins as they prepare for what should be an incredibly tough road to the Stanley Cup Finals. Chychrun is a top-rated defender in the early part of his prime.
The Bruins don’t Need to make a blockbuster trade to compete for the Stanley Cup this season, but why not at least take a swing and try to maximize this great opportunity in front of them?