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Chychrun didn't stress before Coyotes drafted him

Family, friends provided relief until Arizona selected defenseman with No. 16 pick

by Jakob Chychrun / Special to NHL.com

Jakob Chychrun was selected by the Arizona Coyotes with the No. 16 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft at First Niagara Center on Friday. Chychrun, No. 4 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft, has played two seasons with Sarnia of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound defenseman had 11 goals, 49 points, and a plus-23 rating in 62 regular-season games this season, and two goals and eight points in seven OHL playoff games. Born in Boca Raton, Fla., Chychrun is the son of former NHL player Jeff Chychrun. He filed his final draft blog for NHL.com.

Hi, hockey fans.

So the draft has ended. I can't believe it.

When I woke up (Friday), I went golfing with my father to try and kill some time; not think about the whole process too much. We didn't want to torture ourselves thinking about the draft, so we wanted to get out and do something to get our minds off of it. After golf, we got to the hotel, showered up and got to First Niagara Center.

I had a lot of family support and some special friends, and it's really special. I did get emotional after the Coyotes selected me because it's just great to feel so much support from loved ones. It means so much to me, and whenever my mom cries it's tough for me not to get tears in my eyes. 

Video: Coyotes draft D Jakob Chychrun No. 16

As the draft moved along and I didn't hear my name, you start to wonder when it will happen. I was trying not to stress myself out too much. I was just trying to think of the best possible scenarios, even as it went on. I was looking at the teams on the board and was just trying to take the positives out of everything. I really just wanted to go to a team that wanted and believes in me. When a team trades up to get you (as Arizona did), that's perfect. That's a best-case scenario. I'm extremely happy to be going to such a young and talented team.

During the draft, me and my dad were talking about some of the guys and we were happy when they were drafted. It's funny, while sitting up in the stands and right after the No. 15 pick, I made eye contact with someone at the table from Arizona and they actually gave me a wink. I figured something might be happening but didn't want to get too excited in case it didn't happen. But it ended up happening, and I was talking to my parents and told them about that and they were freaking out because they knew Arizona was one of the teams I was excited about possibly joining.

When I reached the stage, the Coyotes management told me how much they really wanted me. They were just very excited to get to know me more and said they were going to take care of me. So I'm really excited. It looks like a well-run organization that's really up-and-coming.

The next step for me is minicamp and I'll look forward to getting to Arizona. After that, I want to continue my training and continue to work hard to give myself a chance to make the NHL in 2016-17. That's been a goal of mine for a long time, and I'm going to continue to work on my game as a whole, getting stronger off the ice as well.

Thanks for reading all season, everyone.

See you down the road.

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