The Detroit Red Wings, like many teams, have had their fair share of missed chances. Hindsight always is 20/20 on trades with a lot of draft picks. In 2016 the Red Wings made a deal that, looking back, could have worked out a little better.
By no means am I saying the deal should not have happened or that former Detroit Red Wings General Manager (GM) Ken Holland was completely dumb for offloading a contract; it just sucks when a pick that gets traded by your organization gets used on someone who has been great in 2020-21.
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun was selected with the sixteenth overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, a pick that the Red Wings originally owned. While he has taken a minute to get to this level, and in 2020-21, Chychrun currently leads the league in goals by a defenseman.
Chychrun has been a solid blueliner for the Coyotes and could have been in the Red Wings organization if the cards fell a different way. The reason I bring this up, the pick the Red Wings received from the Coyotes was used on Dennis Cholowski, who has angered some fans with his lackluster performance early on.
The Detroit Red Wings could have had Jakob Chychrun instead of Dennis Cholowski.
In the summer of 2016, the Red Wings completed a trade to shed the contract of Pavel Datsyuk, who was traded to the Coyotes. Here’s what the entire trade looked like:
The biggest thing about this trade was that the Red Wings were able to shed the salary of Pavel Datsyuk while also flopping first-round picks. The Red Wings’ sixteenth overall pick would go on to be used on Jakob Chychrun, and in return, the Red Wings would use the Coyotes pick on Dennis Cholowski.
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Chychrun is in his fifth NHL season playing for the Coyotes. He has played 53 games in 2020-21, where he has 17 goals and 21 assists for a total of 38 points.
As was mentioned above, he now leads all defensemen for goals scored this season.
Meanwhile, Cholowski has played in three seasons since 2018-19, totaling 102 total NHL games.
Chychrun hovers around 20 points a season, where Cholowski has seldom made it to ten after his first season, where he scored 16.
In 2020-21, Cholowski has logged fourteen games where he has just one goal. Cholowski has not been the player they would have expected when drafting, and missing out on a player like Chychrun definitely sucks.
However, as I said earlier, hindsight is always 20/20, but it sure seems like the Red Wings would love to have this trade back. Plus, now the Red Wings are following the Yzerplan and are in much better hands.