Vancouver Canucks 2016 NHL Draft Profile: D Jakob Chychrun

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Vancouver Canucks are preparing for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Unfortunately, the 2015-16 season was cut short for the Vancouver Canucks, which means we have a long offseason ahead of us. Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the time to prepare next season’s roster, and the 2016 NHL Entry Draft will certainly play an important part in that process.

Vancouver started off strong in the fall of 2015 but ended the season with a thud. Thanks to their abysmal 28th rank in the league standings, the Canucks own seven picks early in each round. Benning did a great job in his first two years at the job and another successful draft could certainly help boost the rebuild.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming event by profiling as many draft-eligible players as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we are not saying these are players the Canucks are targeting. Instead, these are players that we think the Canucks could or should have interest in.

Let’s take a look at defenseman Jakob Chychrun from the OHL’s Sarnia Sting!

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Name: Jakob Chychrun

Position: Defense

Shoots: Left

Height, weight: 6’2″, 214 lbs

Team/League: Sarnia Sting, OHL

Stats (from







NHL CSS Ranking: 4th (North American Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 2/5, 4.5/5

NHL-potential: Top-Four Defenseman

Draft Range: Top 15 Pick

Scouting report

"An unyielding two-way defenceman, Jakob Chychrun is a rising star with a toolbox bursting at the seams. Consistently displays elite four-way skating ability and is not afraid to throw his weight around physically. Plays with poise and composure through high pressure situations and, with the puck on his stick, can direct the play up-ice. Exhibits a particularly potent shot that works its magic on the power play and on the forecheck. Excellent first pass and uses his vision and awareness to keep the puck moving in the direction of the opposition’s tail or to a teammate with more time and space. Defensively adept at tracking the puck and staying a step ahead of the opposition. Proactive with his stick and body, exerting pressure on the opposition and forcing them to make hurried decisions.All-in-all, a well-rounded two-way defender that competes with pro-level drive and makes his authoritative presence felt at both ends of the ice. (Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects 2016)"


Jakob Chychrun, who turned 18 this past March, plays a remarkably mature two-way game.

In his own end, Chychrun uses his large frame effectively, using good positioning to make life difficult for the opposing team. As a result, he rarely gets caught out of position; on the rare occasion he is caught, he can often atone for his own mistakes thanks to remarkable skating ability.

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His long reach allows him to block pass attempts and use poke-check to create turnovers with surgical efficiency.

His skating and size mean he wins battles for loose pucks, and when he has the puck, Chychrun has no intention of turning it over. Whether it is a simple zone-clear to alleviate danger or a first pass which looks effortless, Chychrun quickly turns from defensive stalwart to offensive juggernaut for the Sting.

Chychrun carries the puck through the neutral zone with authority, possesses great vision and hockey sense to see plays developing and choose the best option on offense. If that option is a pass to a teammate, Chychrun’s passes are fast, accurate and difficult to intercept. If that option is to carry the puck himself, Chychrun has the poise and talent to make it happen.

Lastly, Chychrun is a legitimate scoring threat from the point, with a quick wrist shot or a well-honed slapshot. Overall, he projects to be a highly skilled, useful NHL defenseman.


The strengths section may have sounded overly gushing. The reason for that is that scouts have been gushing over the 18-year-old for months — years, in fact — and it’s only recently that expectations have come back to earth.

Chychrun’s recent fall in the rankings is firstly due to the surge of other defensive prospects, most notable the London Knights’ Olli Juolevi.

Related Story: 2016 Draft Profile: D Olli Juolevi

Secondly, Chychrun’s 2014-15 OHL season was cut short due to a recurring shoulder injury. This injury forced him to miss the 2015 OHL playoffs and the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, some key showcases for soon-to-be draftees.

While Chychrun seems to have put his bad shoulder and the missed opportunites behind him in 2015-16, finishing fourth in scoring by defensemen in the OHL, the risk of re-injury remains a legitimate concern.

Thirdly, Chychrun also missed the 2016 World Junior Championships, after being included in the first round of cuts from Team Canada. Despite being fully healthy, Chychrun’s play was inconsistent throughout the evaluation camp. Chychrun ultimately played himself out of a chance to play on this biggest stage for a player of his age.

Ultimately, Chychrun’s biggest weakness is that he is a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. While his game is well-developed in all areas, he is not necessarily the best pick available in any one particular category.

Final Thoughts

Jacob Chychrun has an impressive hockey pedigree. He is the son of former NHLer Jeff Chychrun, and has another former NHL player — Luke Richardson — for an uncle.

His on-ice talent is equally impressive, with no glaring area of weaknesses. He has a lot of potential to be a top-four two-way defenseman who can be a key contributor at both ends of the rink.

From the perspective of the Vancouver Canucks, Chychrun is likely not an option simply because of their positioning in the draft (they will pick anywhere from No. 1 to No. 6, pending the results of the Draft Lottery) and the number of high-end talents, including at least one defenseman ahead of Chychrun.

Next: 2016 Draft Profile: LW Matthew Tkachuk

As late as November 2015 Jakob Chychrun was expected to be chosen in the top five of the draft; some scouts even ranked him as high as second overall.

Times have changed, and so have the draft rankings, yet Chychrun will likely be selected in the first half of the first round. Whichever team he joins will have selected a highly versatile defenseman who should be able to challenge for an NHL job in two years’ time.