The Arizona Coyotes have six games left in the regular season to secure the last spot and best odds for the 2022 Draft lottery. They are two points behind the Montreal Canadiens and have lost seven. straight away, although at least some of that has been down to a string of injuries. Two other players have now been ruled out for the rest of the year because Tweets from Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports that Jakob Chychrun and Christian Fischer will not return in 2021-22. Of the Coyotes’ injured players, only Antoine Roussel and Liam O’Brien have a chance of returning, according to Morgan.
Chychrun, 24, will once again be the target of the hockey world’s headlines this summer. The young defenseman has been on the trade block for most of the year, but the Coyotes decided to hang in there after not getting the offers they were looking for. His last game of the season came on March 12, when he left a game against the Boston Bruins after less than six minutes of ice time.
While there isn’t much to play for in the wasteland and losing is actually arguably more beneficial at the moment, Chychrun’s recent absence won’t change the perception of him as an often injured risk. . In six full NHL seasons, he’s played just 337 games, an average of just over 56 a year (two of those seasons were shortened by COVID-19) and he’ll finish with just 47 this time. He had actually played the best hockey of the season just before he went down, recording five goals and ten points in the six games before his injury.
Now he enters an uncertain offseason with three more years on his contract and an organization that appears to be on a long rebuild. As one of the team’s biggest assets, Chychrun could still bring in a number of future pieces, but it’s unclear who will be willing to pay the hefty price that general manager Bill Armstrong has set. Earlier this season, reports surfaced that the team was looking for three top assets – obviously, a price that was never met.
Fischer also faces an uncertain future in the desert. The 25-year-old forward has never been able to replicate the 15-goal, 33-point rookie season he had in 2017-18 and finishes this year with just five goals and ten points in 53 appearances. He now has just 43 goals in his 318-game career and has settled into a deep role in the last six. A restricted free agent this offseason, he will be eligible for salary arbitration and could be another item moved out of town, if the team feels he is not part of the long-term future.