#8: Arizona Coyotes
(Jakob Chychrun, Shayne Gostisbehere, Dysin Mayo, Conor Timmins, Patrik Nemeth, J.J. Moser, Troy Stetcher)
Oh, the poor Arizona Coyotes. I feel like we keep beating up on them with these position rankings, but honestly their roster is just completely decimated. They’re truly in the deep pits of a rebuild and are going to have a hard time competing at a high level with most NHL teams this season.
The burning question is what is going to happen with Jakob Chychrun? He’s still requesting a trade as recently as a few weeks ago.
If Chychrun ends up playing and producing for the Coyotes this season, then obviously he gives the team a chance to maybe not be the worst defensive unit in the division. I just can’t trust that he’ll actually play and play at a high level at that.
As of now, Chychrun hasn’t even began skating yet and the organization is taking a “patient” approach in terms of getting him 100 percent healthy, per Elliotte Friedman on his 32 Thoughts Podcast.
The Coyotes defensive core after an uncertain Chychrun is led by Shayne Gostisbehere, who was acquired in the 2021 offseason and turned in an 82-game season and 51 points. Not bad at all, so he’s the leader of this very inexperienced unit.
Dysin Mayo is the up-and-comer to watch in this group. He finally got his NHL opportunity last season and looked good enough to earn some long-term trust from the Coyotes front office.
The group gets thin with experience in their depth with players like Conor Timmins (39 NHL games) and J.J. Moser (43 NHL games). Work-in-progress is what you call this unit, and more than likely a lot of growing pains in 2022-23.