Bruins

Report: Bruins have 'recently inquired' about Chychrun ahead of trade deadline

Bruins

The Boston Bruins are not a team that typically stands pat at the NHL trade deadline.

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has made at least one pre-trade deadline move in all seven of his full seasons on the job. He hasn't been afraid to trade good prospects or first-round picks. 

His team currently sits atop the league standings with a 39-7-5 record -- seven points above the Carolina Hurricanes in the Presidents' Trophy race. Despite having a roster that entered Tuesday ranked No. 1 in both goals scored and goals allowed, Sweeney would be wise to upgrade Boston's depth up front and on the back end before the March 3 trade deadline.

2023 NHL trade deadline: Ranking Bruins' biggest needs to address

One player rumored to be available is Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun. 

The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun reported Tuesday that the Bruins "are among the teams who have also recently inquired with the Coyotes on Chychrun — which is very interesting but also not surprising, as the B’s prefer to do hockey deals at this time of year and Chychrun is under contract through the 2024-25 season."

Chychrun is a legit top-four defenseman capable of playing in all situations, including special teams. He can log 20-plus minutes per game, he can defend well against quality competition, and he can drive offense at an impressive rate. Chychrun has tallied 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists) in 35 games this season, and his 1.5 points per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 is the second-highest of his career.

 

He's also just 24 years old, and the Bruins don't have a lot of young stars. Durability has been a concern with Chychrun throughout his career and he's missed a bunch of games due to injury, but his talent is definitely good enough to bet on.

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman wrote in his 32 Thoughts column last week that "Boston is also believed to be in the left-defence market. Would not be surprised if they’ve checked in on Jakob Chychrun and Vladislav Gavrikov, among others."

Chychrun plays on the left side of the blue line in Arizona.

2023 NHL trade deadline: Ranking Bruins' best assets to make deals

Several of the players the Bruins have acquired in trades in recent years either had term left on their contract or signed an extension not long after arriving in Boston. At the 2021 trade deadline, the Bruins acquired left wing Taylor Hall and defenseman Mike Reilly. Both of them signed extensions in July of that year.

When the Bruins traded for defenseman Hampus Lindholm before last year's trade deadline, he signed an eight-year extension the next day. Veteran center Pavel Zacha was acquired by the B's last July and he signed a four-year extension in January

Chychrun is signed through the 2024-25 campaign with a salary cap hit of just $4.6 million, which is a very team-friendly number for a player of his caliber. If the Bruins are willing to give up prime assets to help this roster compete for a Stanley Cup title, the ideal scenario would be acquiring an impact player who's not a rental, and Chychrun is not a rental.