Panthers among teams with interest in defenseman Jakob Chychrun, but price will be steep

Source: Coyotes want any deal with Florida to include rookie Anton Lundell

Jakob Chychrun of the Arizona Coyotes looks up ice during a break in action against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on January 7, 2020 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) (Joel Auerbach, 2020 Getty Images)

SUNRISE, Fla. – It’s no secret that the Florida Panthers are in the market for a defenseman.

There are several talented rearguards that are considered available on the trade market, but one name stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Jakob Chychrun is only 23 years old, but he is already viewed among the best young players in the league at his position.

The sixteenth overall pick in 2016 has seen his game grow exponentially over the past few seasons. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the team that selected him, the Arizona Coyotes.

After peaking with a surprising win in the Qualifying Round during the bubble playoffs two seasons ago, the Yotes finished below .500 last season and have been borderline abysmal this year.

Back in rebuild mode and stockpiling assets, Arizona is open for business and reportedly willing to move Chychrun, but only for the right price, which is going to be a steep one.

That’s because Chychrun, in addition to being an incredibly skilled d-man, comes with a very reasonable contract for a player of his talent level. He’s currently signed through the 2024-25 season with an average annual salary of $4.6 million.

With all that in mind, the question would be whether the Panthers are interested in pursuing Chychrun.

Local 10 News has learned that the answer is yes, Florida is among several teams interested in exploring a trade for the ascending defenseman.

But again, the price will be high.

How high?

Well, first one must consider that the Panthers draft capitol is limited, with no first or second round selection in the upcoming 2022 Entry Draft this summer.

Florida has all its selections in 2023, and that first round pick would likely be in play.

One name to keep an eye on is Panthers rookie Anton Lundell. According to a source, the Coyotes are quite fond of the 20-year-old Finn and appear to be set on having him included in any package for Chychrun.

That doesn’t come as a big surprise considering Lundell is having an excellent debut season in the NHL and is arguably the Panthers’ best prospect, aside from goaltender Spencer Knight.

Anton Lundell #15 of the Florida Panthers celebrates a goal in the third period during a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on October 19, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) (2021 Getty Images)

Lundell has emerged as a consistent two-way centermen for Florida that plays an integral role on the penalty killing unit while seeing the occasional shift with the man advantage.

As the season has progressed, Lundell’s confidence has grown, particularly with the puck on his stick. Over his past 19 games for Florida, Lundell has logged 17 points while continuing to provide excellent two-way play.

Losing the youngster would be a big hit to Florida’s bottom six, even with the expected return of Noel Acciari sometime in the coming weeks.

Additionally, Lundell would be only one part of what will likely end up being massive package for Chychrun that would include additional young assets. Remember, Florida doesn’t have any high picks to offer in this year’s draft and would be expected to compensate with high-end prospects.

While there is no timeline for any potential move, the NHL Trade Deadline for this season is coming up on Monday, March 21.

That’s two months away, and there is a lot that can change in eight weeks. For now, it appears any discussions between Florida and Arizona will have to include Lundell.

We’ll have to wait and see how that plays out.

About the Author:

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.