The Ottawa Senators have acquired defenceman Jakob Chychrun form the Arizona Coyotes, signalling that they intend to make a push for an Eastern Conference wild-card spot.
The deal cost the Senators a large chunk of their draft capital. Arizona gets a conditional first-round draft pick this year, a conditional second-round selection in 2024 (previously acquired from Washington) and a second-round pick in 2026.
In return, the Senators get a defenceman who can help them make a playoff push this season and has two years remaining on a six-year deal worth US$4.6 million per year.
Chychrun has 28 points (seven goals, 21 assists) in 36 games with Arizona this season, which selected the 24-year-old 16th overall in 2016.
He has 60 goals and 110 assists in 373 games with the Coyotes.
“A defenceman we’ve coveted, Jakob is big and plays imposing,” Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said. “He possesses a quality skill set; he defends hard and is highly skilled. He uses his heavy shot with accuracy and is effective at creating offence as a threat at the offensive blue line.”
The Senators are on a three-game winning streak, and their recent improved play has moved them within five points of Pittsburgh for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.
Dorion had said that he would wait to see where the Senators stood after a stretch that ended with a pair of home games against Detroit earlier this week. He wanted to see what their result would be in those key games before deciding if the Senators would be buyers, sellers or standing pat heading into Friday’s trade deadline.
It appears watching the Senators sweep the Red Wings by a combined score of 12-3 was enough to convince him to buy now.
The first-round pick is top-five protected, and becomes an unprotected first-round pick in 2024 if that condition is met.
Should the Senators reach the Eastern Conference final this year, the 2024 second-round pick becomes a top 10-protected first-round pick that year instead.
If that condition is met, the pick becomes an unprotected first-round pick in 2025.