Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has submitted his rankings of the Top 30 draft-eligible prospects of 2016. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2016 NHL Draft, which will be held at First Niagara Center here in Buffalo on June 24 and 25.
#10. Jakob Chychrun – LHD, Sarnia (OHL)
A pure athletic specimen with elite skating skill, Chychrun projects as a future do-it-all defender with shutdown tendencies and a very capable offensive dimension.
He’s a complete player at the junior level and a potential difference-maker with the look of a future cornerstone NHL defenseman, but lofty expectations may not have been met this year, thus dropping him into the second tier of players available in the 2016 draft class.
The son of former NHL defenseman Jeff, Chychrun projects as a commanding presence at both ends of the ice with very good puck skills. He plays a disciplined game with a natural physical edge while not being considered overly physical.
The hallmark of Chychrun’s game is his skating and four-way mobility. While a very speedy backwards skater, Chychrun can kick it into gear when going forward with an ability to power down the center lane and create prime opportunities. While he has hands that can deliver secondary scoring, Chychrun is most effective when he simplifies his offensive game.
The main concern moving forward could be in the way of injuries, as the thick rearguard has twice been shut with shoulder injuries – once in midget and again during his first season in Sarnia. The fact that he enjoyed an injury-free campaign in 2015-16 could cool some of those concerns, but don’t be shocked if he slips down the board once all is said and done despite the richness of his raw tools.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline and an updated organizational depth chart, check out Kris Baker’s website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects).