Oilers in on Chychrun, as They Should Be if They’re Contenders

The talk surrounding a Jakob Chychrun trade out of Arizona has heated up in a major way over the last 24 hours. Despite Arizona saying they’re in no rush to move the defenseman, it certainly feels like they are considering chatter is the asking price has softened and Chychun himself has spoken about being ready to move on. Many believe the start of the organization’s internal deadline is the regular season and if so, a deal could go down here over the next 24-72 hours.

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Darren Dreger noted on the most recent TSN Insider Trading segment that the St. Louis Blues, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Los Angeles Kings, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Edmonton Oilers are among the teams interested.

Oilers Might Be Heavy Players Here

That Edmonton is one of the teams inquiring is intriguing. That they are being seen as one of the teams most interested is really fascinating. Their cap situation means that players will have to go back to Arizona and that means one of Jesse Puljujarvi or Philip Broberg is likely on their way out.

Philip Broberg Edmonton Oilers
Philip Broberg, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Marc Spector of Sportsnet tweeted, “My understanding is Edmonton Oilers are NOT in on any Jakob Chychrun talks at this time. Philip Broberg is a nonstarter as a prospect going to Coyotes, as is Dylan Holloway. Jesse Puljujarvi – with a 1st rd pick – not enough for ARI.” That comment has been debated by a number of other insiders and many fans are arguing against Broberg being immediately excluded from the conversation. In fact, Dreger doubled down on his comments that the Oilers were involved in talks when he replied to Spector’s tweet and wrote:

“For many teams, Edmonton included, meeting the asking price is a significant challenge. However, the Oilers have expressed interest and stayed in communication with those involved. Doesn’t mean they’re actively trying to make a trade. As I reported, same with other clubs as well.”

Oilers Should Be in This Conversation

While there are concerns about Chychrun’s health, there’s no denying he is a legit top-four defenseman. The Oilers have Darnell Nurse and Brett Kulak on the left side and adding Chycrhun to the mix would make them infinitely stronger at that position. Broberg was pegged to start the season on the big club, but it wasn’t a lock he would stick, and while he too is pegged to be a top-four guy, that could be two or three seasons down the road.

Jakob Chychrun Arizona Coyotes
Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

For the Oilers, it’s these next two or three seasons that count. Chychrun makes them better today than Broberg does. And, with Connor McDavid playing in the final four seasons of his current contract and Leon Draisaitl in the final three seasons of his, the timing is right. Jonathan Willis of The Athletic points out, “Not only would Chychrun make the team better immediately at a somewhat suspect position (LD) but he’s on a reasonable contract for three years and EDM has the young pieces to put a package together.”

Can Holland Pull This Off?

The assumption by many fans is that the Oilers will go overboard with the trade and move too many pieces to land a defenseman that may not be healthy and get back to his best production levels. Not so fast, according to a few other insiders watching this situation closely.

Related: NHL Rumors: Coyotes, Oilers, Maple Leafs, Panthers

Kevin Weekes of ESPN notes (per @OilersAnalytics On Twitter), “Ken Holland might have a few more tricks up his sleeves, so keep an eye on the Oilers.” If the price for Chychrun is coming down and Holland figures out a way to move when he needs to without giving up the farm, this could work out. Weekes adds, “He [Holland] has made it clear that he wants to go all in this year.” At the same time, reports are that the Oilers” GM has really been doing his due diligence to ensure he’s not trading for damaged goods.

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Meanwhile, Daniel Nugent-Bowman of The Athletic writes, “Are the Oilers in the Jakob Chychrun sweepstakes? “Too rich for our blood,” said a team source. Things can always change. For now, EDM is content with a left side of Darnell Nurse, Brett Kulak, and a plethora of options (Broberg, Murray, Niemelainen and possible righty Samorukov).” In other words, the Oilers are in, but only if the deal makes sense and they don’t over pay.

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