Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong took calculated risk trading Jakob Chychrun to Ottawa

Mar 4, 2023, 10:16 AM | Updated: 10:21 am
General manager Bill Armstrong of the Coyotes during the 2022 NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 07, ...
General manager Bill Armstrong of the Coyotes during the 2022 NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes saw some mixed reviews from the trade that sent defenseman Jakob Chychrun to the Ottawa Senators at the trade deadline.

Arizona sent Chychrun for a 2023 conditional first-round pick, 2024 conditional second-round pick and an additional 2026 second-round pick. Many around the media thought Arizona could have received more assets for a young defenseman that has a high ceiling, compared to other deals around the league at the time.

Despite receiving a lot of flak even after the dust had settled on the trade, general manager Bill Armstrong is standing by his move of trading Chychrun.

“It was great value for us,” Armstrong told reporters on Friday. “People forget a couple of things. When you are trading a high-end player such as him, dealing with the amount of man games he had lost because of injury, I do not care who you are talking to, the team on the other end of the line is going to ask for a discount. That’s not always easy to move.”

“I think what we did was, No. 1, pick as high as we can. Look, we could have looked like rock stars and accumulated this and this. But what we went for was the highest pick we could get. We could have got two first-rounders at the back end of the first round, but that doesn’t equal what we think we got with Ottawa. It is a little risky because you don’t know where they are going to finish, but that’s a risk we’re willing to take.”

Armstrong credited Chychrun for being professional during the trade rumors and kept the defenseman updated with what teams had traction on a deal.

After many different deadline deals, the Coyotes now hold 52 picks over the next four drafts.

The Coyotes general manager took inspiration from the NBA’s Houston Rockets and their massive haul of picks.

“One of the things we studied was the Rockets, actually, and they talked about how they went out and bought a player,” Armstrong said.

“That was always our thought process. If we can stock enough picks and a player comes up in the draft, we can do that and go buy players at certain times. Also, when we go into drafts, it enables us to move up on the draft floor and get some really good players.”

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