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Coyotes' Jakob Chychrun confident he can make NHL jump at 18

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Jakob Chychrun remembers the assignment he was given when his Sarnia Sting took on London Knights in an OHL clash during his first year in the league. He was tasked with slowing down Max Domi, the forward who would post 32 goals and 102 points that season.

Fast forward two years later and Chychrun and Domi are potential future teammates after the Arizona Coyotes selected the defenseman with the 16th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Chychrun had to sit and watch 15 other names come off the board before the Coyotes, who debated picking him at No. 7, made a trade with the Detroit Red Wings to move up to that spot and select the Boca Raton, Florida native.

“You have to really prepare for anything. That’s kind of what I was doing last night,” Chychrun said. “I was kind of preparing for anything that could happen. This was unbelievable. I really wanted to go to a team that wanted me and whenever a team trades up to get you it’s special.” 

The son of former NHLer Jeff Chychrun and nephew of long-time defenseman Luke Richardson, Jakob Chychrun is never satisfied with his game and says he’s always working on something. He understands the challenges that face young blue liners at the next level, but despite that, he feels he can jump right into the mix next season.

“It’s always been a goal of mine to play in the National Hockey League at 18,” he said. “I really believe if there’s anyone that can do it and is physically and mentally ready for it it’s me.”

While he prepared for any situation in Round 1 and may believe he should have been selected higher, Chychrun can use this as motivation heading into training camp in September. He already has the right mindset going for him.

“I think if you take the positives out of any situation you’ll be okay and that’s what I tried to do today,” he said.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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