LA Kings: Four defensemen worth trading 2021 first round pick for

LA Kings Rumors (Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)
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LA Kings Trades Jacob Chychrun
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Jakob Chychrun

What a season Jakob Chychrun had for the Arizona Coyotes. The 23-year-old finished the season with 18 goals and 23 assists. He has a big, heavy shot, one that tallied five powerplay goals, an area the Kings could also use some help.

It feels like a pipe dream that Arizona would want to deal the former 16th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. However, they just fired head coach Rick Tocchet, and TSN’s Darren Dreger reported around the trade deadline that general manager Bill Armstrong may look to re-shape the roster in the summer.

"Yeah, I don’t think he wants to use the word rebuild, but he wants to make some changes. And perhaps some significant changes. Not a fire sale for the Arizona Coyotes, just a strong appetite for different. And we’re potentially talking about core players…It’ll drift into the off-season, but the Arizona Coyotes, for obvious reasons, are looking for long-term improvement and willing to discuss just about anything on the trade front. – TSN/Dreger"

The Coyotes had a number of teams calling about Conor Garland at the trade deadline. He remained with the club but could be part of a wave of moves in the offseason.

For the Kings, it starts with Chychrun, who would be the perfect fit for the second pairing with Matt Roy. At 23, the Coyotes blueliner is signed through the 2024-2025 season, coming at an affordable $4.6M AAV cap hit. Arizona will have some salary coming off the books after the 2021 season, but they need draft picks right now.

They are without a first-round pick after violating the NHL’s Combine Testing Policy, so there is obviously some incentive for them to get that pick back. They are also without a third-round pick, so perhaps a package of picks and prospects can get this deal done, but plenty of reasons exist that suggest Chyrchrun survives the Coyotes’ “desire for different” this offseason.

Perhaps a Garland deal in the offseason gives them the draft capital they need. However, if I am Rob Blake, that’s the first team I am calling to shore up the blue line.