In an effort to stay ahead of the curve and capture an edge in the cutthroat world of professional hockey, the Arizona Coyotes are reportedly making an outside-the-box front office hire.
According to a Tweet by TSN hockey analyst Aaron Ward, the Coyotes are set to hire analytics expert John Chayka as the team’s new assistant general manager.
Chayka, 25, is a former junior hockey player who co-founded a company called Stathletes, which manually tracks hockey games using extensive video analysis to help evaluate players. According to the company, Stathletes claims that it has “yielded over 100 times the statistical resolution” compared to more tried and true statistical tracking methods.
Since 2009 (per Chayka’s LinkedIn profile), Chayka and Stathletes have not only compiled advanced statistical data, but have also consulted with a number of NHL front offices, with a stated goal of providing “a comprehensive statistical database to drive winning in hockey through real, actionable data.”
Unlike the Toronto Maple Leafs, who made a similar move by hiring 28-year-old Kyle Dubas to be the team’s assistant general manager last offseason, the Coyotes are investing in Chayka who possesses no previous experience as an executive in an NHL front office.
However, what Chayka lacks in a suit and tie, he makes up for in experience on the ice. Chayka played parts of three seasons at the junior level, including spending two years with the Woodstock Slammers in the Maritime Junior A Hockey League. In fact, in his second season with Woodstock, Chayka ranked third in the league in scoring.
No formal announcement has yet been made by the Coyotes regarding Chayka’s appointment as the team’s new assistant general manager.