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Possible Draft Target: Jakob Chychrun

by Jason Pirie / Calgary Flames

As one of the most sought-after blueliners available at this year’s draft, the American-born Canadian won’t need to wait long to hear his name called in Buffalo.

A smooth skating two-way defenceman, Jakob Chychrun has an ability to dictate the play when the puck is on his stick and consistently makes a great outlet pass. He also isn’t shy about throwing around his 6-foot-2, 215-pound pro-ready frame.

He became the first minor midget player to represent Team Ontario when he participated at the 2014 World U17 Hockey Challenge and impressively finished the tournament with four points in five games.

His path to the NHL is far from the norm, however.

Chychrun, who owns a thunderous shot from the point, started playing hockey in his native Florida, before joining Detroit’s Little Caesars program as a major bantam. He then relocated to Toronto to suit up for the minor midget Jr. Canadiens of the Greater Toronto Hockey League.

A first overall pick at the 2014 OHL Priority Selection, the Boca Raton native has recorded a combined 82 points over two seasons with the Sarnia Sting. His goal production dropped this season, however he doubled his assist total from his stellar rookie campaign that led him to being nominated for the Emms Family Award for outstanding rookie, the Max Kaminsky Trophy for defeceman of the year, as well as the Red Tilson Trophy for OHL Player of the Year.

Not to be undervalued is the fact that he also has the bloodlines.

His father Jeff suited up for 262 NHL games over eight seasons with Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Edmonton, while his uncle Luke Richardson was a veteran of 1,417 NHL games after being a first round (seventh overall) pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1987.

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