Maple Leafs reportedly looking at Jakob Chychrun as a big name target

Photo credit:Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Barden
1 year ago
Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas’ media availability left a lot of questions unanswered ahead of the NHL trade deadline.
Questions like, ‘What is Toronto going to do? Who is Toronto going to trade for to help them finally get over the hump? Can they even make a big move with their salary cap situation?’
And well, 26 hours after Dubas spoke, another rumour surrounding who the Maple Leafs might be targeting came to light.
During Friday’s edition of ‘Real Kyper & Bourne‘ on Sportsnet, Nick Kypreos was speaking about the NHL trade deadline, and that he had heard something surrounding Toronto in his “inner circle.”
“One of the things that I had heard in the last 24 hours is that the Leafs are obviously focusing on a D-man, and they’re targeting Jakob Chychrun.” He said.
Kypreos speculated further, adding that this could be something Toronto looks at giving top prospect Matthew Knies up for.
“For me, very consistent from what I heard out of Kyle (on Thursday), is that ‘Jakob is not a rental. If I’m able to pull this off, we guarantee ourselves three more cracks at a Stanley Cup with Jakob Chychrun at $4.6 million, and that would be worth giving up a Matthew Knies for.’ That’s what I heard yesterday.”

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Chychrun is in the fourth year of a six-year deal with the Arizona Coyotes that carries an AAV of $4.6 million. The 24-year-old defenceman has put up 27 points in 35 games since returning from an injury that kept him out early in the season.
He’s averaged over 23 minutes of ice time since returning, playing on Arizona’s top defence pairing and also quarterbacking their first power play unit.
On Thursday, when Dubas addressed the media, he spoke about how the Maple Leafs were unlikely to give up a big-name prospect for a rental, but that when it came to a player with term, you can’t say “no” right away at the beginning of a trade discussion.
“I think every single trade discussion we have and where we’re at as a franchise, you can’t necessarily say no to anything right off the hop.” Dubas said to reporters. “Having said that, there are some players and some draft pick capital that we have that are extremely valuable that we’d be hard-pressed to move on from.
“Not just the one player mentioned (Matthew Knies), but a whole group of prospects or younger players off our roster. So, I think in regards to rentals, I can’t see that happening. But with regards to other options, I don’t think you say no off the hop to anything, but those are very important pieces to us for now and the future.”
Kypreos added a bit later in the show that Toronto is hesitant to give up any of their first-round picks in a trade for Chychrun.
“They’d like to get it done with Jakob Chychrun in Arizona without giving up anymore first-round picks, those they want to protect.
“Which means, for me, that if Matthew Knies is involved, it would cost them something else of significance, outside of a future asset like a first-rounder. Like something on the roster.”
Kypreos also suggested that the roster player could be one of Rasmus Sandin or Timothy Liljegren.
The Arizona and Chychrun situation has gone on for well over a year now and it seems like the 24-year-old might finally be moved ahead of the March 3rd deadline.
According to DailyFaceoff’s Frank Seravalli, in his latest ‘Trade Targets‘ piece, the ask for the defenceman “is either two first-round picks plus a prospect or a first-round pick, a first-round pick equivalent and a Grade A prospect.”
Might Toronto take the leap of faith and acquire the 24-year-old, or could another team get him first? We’ll find out in 21 days or less.

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