Chychrun's return is productive
Arizona Coyotes' defenseman Jakob Chychrun played his first game of the 2017/18 season Sunday night against the rival Vegas Golden Knights.
After a mysterious off-season injury which required knee surgery, Chychrun worked hard to get back on the ice. It's uncertain if he sustained his injury performing some exercise routine, but that's all in the past now that he's back on the ice.
He seemed to pick right up where he left off last season much like he fit in perfectly last season when he jumped to the NHL.
He missed 29 games, but came back in a storm to help his team gain a point in a game decided in overtime, 3-2 in favor of Vegas. He scored his first goal of the season on this nice feed from Max Domi.
Chychrun impressed as a rookie last season
Last season Chychrun as a rookie had an impressive season, especially when you consider he was just 18-years-old playing against a bunch of men.
His body is a physical specimen, and it's no surprise that he returned ahead of schedule from his knee injury due to his disciplined regimen of physical fitness.
He gathered seven goals, 13 assists in 69 games, and was always an scoring threat breaking into the offensive zone when the opportunity arose.
He has a quality shot from the point, and defenders must respect his ability to break in towards the net to either shoot or pass to a teammate.
His other qualities are his shot blocking ability. He accumulated 99 blocks last season which placed him fifth on the team in that category.
He also showed the physical aspect of his game last year when he had 109 hits, placing him eighth overall on the Coyotes' squad.
He was on the ice for 22:40 of the Vegas game which is six minutes more than he averaged last season. This indicates that head coach Rick Tocchet is confident in putting him out on the ice in key situations.
Timing is everything
Chychrun's return couldn't have come at a better time since defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson has been on injured reserve since November 28, 2017. He sustained an upper body injury and there is no set timetable for his return.
With Chychrun getting valuable ice time it will certainly enhance the Coyotes' defense when Hjalmarsson returns.
The positive attitude and excellent work ethic displayed by his quick injury recovery makes Chychrun a valuable asset for the team's future.
In addition, if you've ever seen Jakob do an interview you'll notice his maturity way beyond his 19 years stands out. He knows how to handle himself in all the right ways.
All in all this young player has fans and critics alike excited about his future in the NHL. He certainly is turning heads early in his career.
What's scary (at least for the Coyotes' opponents) is how much better he will be with a few years experience.
His potential is limitless, and his desire to play the best game he can is obvious.
Tell us in the comments section below what you think of defenseman Jakob Chychrun's NHL play and what his potential may be in the NHL.