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By: Pierce Brody | Follow me on Twitter @PierceBrody3

Jakob Chychrun has been a high price commodity on the trading block for well over a year. The 24-year-old Canadian has remained in Arizona despite being a top prize at the last trade deadline. The fee for his services still appears steep, with GMs griping about the price tag of two first-round picks and a high-end prospect. This comes on top of his injury history, as he has only twice played more than 60 games in a season. Craig Morgan reported early in December that, even at this price, many teams have not been dissuaded with “at least five serious teams in the mix for Chychrun.”

Regardless if the defenseman is worth the extravagant price, does it make sense for Boston? Before we note the pros and cons of freeing Chychrun from the desert, let’s quickly take note of the highest-value trade assets the Bruins still have in their barren cupboard.

Draft picks

Although the hefty price paid for Hampus Lindholm still casts a long shadow, the Bruins’ draft picks seem better off than the farm system. They are currently missing just the next two years’ second-round selections.

Fabian Lysell

The speedy Swede is a former first-round pick who is still getting acquainted with the North American flavor of the game. While he’s drawn some potentially overzealous comparisons to the former top prospect David Pastrňák, he has flashed top-6 potential.

Mason Lohrei

A former second-round pick, Lohrei is an offensive-minded defenseman playing for the Ohio State Buckeyes. While his puck handling and playmaking have stuck out to many evaluators, the physicality in his game is no slouch, either. As a result, he is believed to have a ceiling of a top-four defenseman.

If you want to read more about what’s coming up the pipe for the Bruins, check out Dominic Tiano’s article about the incoming top prospects.


There are many obvious benefits of adding a cost-controlled young player ($4.6 million through the 2024-2025 season) who’s compiled a few Norris Trophy votes in the past. Not only would he allow the Bruins more lineup versatility, but he also provides a luxurious insurance policy in case the breakout regulars Connor Clifton and Derek Forbort regress or if Brandon Carlo suffers another unfortunate head injury. Additionally, Chychrun’s two-way ability could thrive in Coach Jim Montgomery’s creativity-laden system that has already benefited the aforementioned Clifton.

We have to consider a point that is a bit gloomier — is the Bruins’ defense even this good? The Bruins have given up a minuscule 50 goals in 5v5 situations, but their expected goals against is a concerning 65.96 goals.

While the world knows Linus Ullmark has blossomed into a top-tier goaltender this year, his outstanding play may be an eerie explanation for the statistical gap. He is stopping an abnormal amount of high-quality shots. Expected stats typically regress to the mean at some point. While Ullmark may have a Vezina-level second half in store, a blockbuster trade may be one way to prevent the Bruins faithful from finding out if he doesn’t.


Though Chychrun is a talented player, is he right for the Bruins? There are issues relating to the acquisition of the talented defensemen. Let’s start with the salary cap. Even if you aren’t a numbers nerd, you might’ve heard about how many cap-crunch good teams like the Bruins are under. Remember the Bruins trading Johnny Boychuk and Tyler Seguin?

The Bruins have done a great job juggling a competitive roster and cap responsibilities, but a few wrong moves can quickly stack up. Chychrun has a reasonable salary for a few more seasons. Still, without even considering a possible raise if the Bruins try to extend him, plenty of players could be lost with no return during the cap and roster crunch. We’ve already sweated out losing Mike Reilly on waivers but are we ready to do it again with Clifton or Forbort? On top of that, the Bruins are right at the cap, and while dumping Craig Smith’s $3.1 million may be the answer, the Bruins will have to attach assets to offload the contract, another hit to the already thin system.

That brings us to that price tag that may be too rich for the Bruins. The team is already missing a pair of premium draft picks while also having The Athletic’s 32nd-ranked farm system. It doesn’t get lower than that. If we genuinely believe the reported asking price of two first-round picks and a premium prospect, that likely means the Bruins would have to part with some combination of first-round picks with Lohrei and/or Lysell. Perhaps the Coyotes are willing to take a large swath of picks to lighten the burden on the upper ends of the Bruins pipeline, but that kicks the farm system problem down the road. If the Bruins trade Lysell and Lohrei, that may produce a collection of middling to poor Bruins teams in the distant future, as high-priced veterans like Lindholm don’t have the support they require.

Ultimately, the Bruins have a talented team right now that could use the support that a premium player brings this season and in the future. However, the extravagant price could set back any farm system, but a poor trade here could be crippling for a lower-tier farm. I believe a team propped up by older veterans and unprepared to replace them should not be spending extravagantly from their farm.