This guy Chayka is turning some heads in the NHL
All the so-called "experts" are eating crow now; Chayka again made a brilliant move by trading a conditional second 2017 pick and a conditional third round draft pick to the Florida Panthers for the 11th overall selection in this past summer's entry draft, left wing Lawson Crouse and veteran forward Dave Bolland.
Bolland will more than likely be on the injured reserve, since he struggled to play just 25 games last season (1 goal, 4 assists) with the Panthers due to injuries. The questionable move salary wise, is why pay him $5.5 million for the next three years? If he is placed on injured reserve, the Coyotes will not have the salary cap hit.
We may not know what motivated Chayka to pick up Bolland, but we do know what motivated the Panthers.
They wanted to clear some cap space, but it makes little sense to unload a promising young player like Crouse. What also may have played into their decision was that they are going for it this season, and making an all out effort for a Cup.
This gives them $9.2 million of cap space, and they may be looking to fortify an already strong team even after adding former Coyotes' star defenseman Keith Yandle.
The Coyotes just got stronger
In any case, the addition of another young prospect to the Coyotes' roster is nothing but good news. Crouse is a big 6' 4" 220 pound forward who will not be eligible to play on the team's AHL affiliate Tucson Roadrunners, but will come to training camp to impress and try to make the team.
Crose collected 113 points (52 goals) in 105 games the past two season with the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs. He also was assessed 126 penalty minutes to show he won't be pushed around.
Eliteprospects.com describes Crouse:
A big-bodied power winger with the ability to physically dominate, making him a prominent forechecking presence every night. Possesses good hands that can be used to make crisp passes or to let loose accurate, NHL-level shots; paired with his strength and skating ability, his skill set allows him to contribute offensively, as well as create space for teammates. (Curtis Joe, EP 2014)
If he makes the final roster, both he and Ryan White obtained as a free agent this summer from the Philadelphia Flyers, will be out on the ice to protect the likes of Max Domi (not sure he needs any help), Anthony Duclair, Dylan Strome, and Christian Dvorak from the goons of the league.
Crouse will more than likely possess much more scoring ability than White, but their toughness will be an asset to the team's possession statistics. And, you can be sure Chayka knew that about Crouse before he pulled off this deal.
In the end, Chayka was able to draft swift center Clayton Keller at the seventh overall pick, work a deal with the Detroit Red Wings to switch draft positions to draft defenseman Jakob Chychurn at #16, and now acquire Crouse, who was selected 11th by the Panthers.
It can be said that those skeptics are removing crow feathers from their mouths long about now.