John Chayka signed a long-term extension to remain general manager of the Arizona Coyotes on Monday. Terms of the contract were not released.
"Obviously, very pleased and grateful that we've undertaken a big project here and feel like there's still some work to do, so to have the opportunity to kind of see things through and just the recognition for our entire staff that we're on the right track and doing good things and expecting to do even more, I think those are the thoughts and emotions that come with this," Chayka said.
"Just really excited to keep working away here. Obviously, I love the city and love the organization the people we have in place."
Chayka, 30, became the youngest general manager in NHL history when he was hired at 26 on May 5, 2016. Now in his fourth season as GM, Chayka was also named president of hockey operations on July 12, 2017.
Among his moves since becoming GM have been acquiring forwards Phil Kessel, Nick Schmaltz, Derek Stepan, Carl Soderberg, Lawson Crouse and Vinnie Hinostroza, defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jason Demers and Jordan Oesterle, and goaltenders Antti Raanta and Darcy Kuemper.
In addition, Chayka signed free agent defenseman Alex Goligoski and forward Michael Grabner and drafted forwards Clayton Keller and Barrett Hayton and defenseman Jakob Chychrun.
"We are extremely pleased to sign John to a long-term contract extension," Meruelo said in a statement. "John is one of the brightest and hardest-working general managers in the entire NHL and over the past four seasons, he has done an excellent job of rebuilding our franchise and transforming the Coyotes into a contender. I am fully confident that John is the right person to lead us moving forward and help us bring the Stanley Cup to Arizona."
The Coyotes have not qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs the past seven seasons and have finished no higher than fourth in the Pacific Division on four occasions over that span, including last season when they missed qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs by four points.
Arizona (9-6-2) is one point behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference.
"I think the key thing is we're on the right track. We've had a solid process and that's always the main thing," Chayka said. "Obviously, you're never satisfied until you reach your goals. We want to win a championship here, but it starts with making the playoffs and getting your foot in the door. We've got a good young group and we've got a lot of good veterans that have helped along the way and are helping develop these guys and are good players themselves, which is tough to find those types of quality people and quality players that can come in and help support the youth.
"So, I think it's one of those things where until you achieve your goals it's tough to be too reflective on things, but ultimately we feel like we're in a good place, we're on the right track and still lots to go in terms of achieving our goals."