Red Wings’ 2022-23 Trade Targets: Arizona Coyotes

The Hockey Writers

At this point of the season, the Detroit Red Wings are still in the wild card race. However, they also certainly are in jeopardy of falling out of it, as they trail the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders, and New York Rangers each by seven points. As a result, general manager (GM) Steve Yzerman may be wise to start working the phones soon, and one team he should consider doing business with is the rebuilding Arizona Coyotes. In my opinion, three specific players should be on Yzerman’s radar. Let’s look at them now.

Jakob Chychrun

Since last season, Jakob Chychrun has been one of the biggest names in the rumor mill. It is apparent that Arizona is shopping him, but at the time of this writing, he remains a Coyote. As a result, I believe that the Red Wings should go all-in for the 2016 first-round pick. Since returning from injury, the 24-year-old defenseman has been spectacular, as he has four goals, 17 points, and a plus-11 rating in 18 games so far this season. Needless to say, with numbers like these, he is a legitimate top-pairing defenseman and the kind of player that should be on Yzerman’s wish list.

Jakob Chychrun Arizona Coyotes
Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

When looking at the Red Wings’ lineup, it is fair to argue that the left side of their defense could use improvement. Although Ben Chiarot is a solid player, Chychrun would be a significant upgrade on the team’s top pairing with Moritz Seider. In my honest opinion, this move would give the Red Wings one of the best top defensive pairings in the NHL. Furthermore, due to his excellent all-around game, Chychrun would be guaranteed time on their top power-play unit and penalty kill.

To acquire Chychrun, the Red Wings would likely need to part ways with their 2023 first-round pick (top-10 protected), 2024 second-round, Jake Walman, and a top prospect like William Wallinder. Although the price would be big, it would be worth paying because Chychrun is a star.

Nick Schmaltz

Another player who certainly could grab the attention of the Red Wings is Nick Schmaltz. He has quietly emerged as a legitimate top-six forward over these last few seasons and would be a major addition to Detroit’s lineup because of it. After recording a 59-point campaign in 63 games last season, the 26-year-old has seven goals and 16 points in 19 games this season. He also would be far more than a rental if acquired, as he has a $5.85 million cap hit until the end of the 2025-26 season. Overall, that cap hit is not too expensive when noting that he is producing at just under a point-per-game pace.

Related: Red Wings’ 2022-23 Trade Targets: Washington Capitals

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Schmaltz offers great versatility, as he can play center and right wing with ease. As a result, he would have virtually zero trouble fitting into Detroit’s top nine. He could take over David Perron’s spot at first-line right wing or could even play second- or third-line minutes at center. No matter the case, Schmaltz would provide Detroit with significantly more depth for multiple years if acquired. With that, his solid two-way play would allow him to play on both their power play and penalty kill.

Schmaltz would not cost the Red Wings as much as Chychrun, but he still wouldn’t be too cheap to acquire. A second-round pick, Pius Suter, and a prospect like Eemil Viro could be enough to get this move done.

Shayne Gostisbehere

As stated above, the Red Wings would benefit from adding another left-shot defenseman to their group. If Yzerman feels that Chychrun’s too expensive to acquire, Shayne Gostisbehere would be a fantastic consolation prize. The 29-year-old is a pending unrestricted free agent (UFA), so it is more likely than not that the Coyotes will be moving him by the deadline. In 34 games this season, he has nine goals to go along with an impressive 26 points. Needless to say, he has been very good this season, and he would be a notable addition because of it.

Shayne Gostisbehere Arizona Coyotes
Shayne Gostisbehere, Arizona Coyotes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Gostisbehere could be a potential option to play top-pairing minutes with Seider. However, if a match with Seider is not there, he also could work well on Detroit’s second or even third pairing. Furthermore, if the Red Wings were to acquire him, he would be guaranteed time on their power play because of his excellent offensive awareness and ability to create plays. Yet, although he is an offensive defenseman at heart, he still can work on the team’s second penalty-kill unit if needed.

With Gostisbehere having another strong season, it seems likely that the Red Wings would need to part ways with a second-round pick, Gustav Lindstrom, and a mid-tier prospect to help make this move come to fruition. Overall, it would be a pretty high price, but it would be worth it when noting how well Gostisbehere produces from the point.

Alas, the Red Wings certainly have some good players to target from the Coyotes. Out of this trio, Chychrun would be the grand prize, but adding either Schmaltz or Gostisbehere would also be fantastic for Detroit. We will have to wait and see if these two clubs end up making a trade before the deadline passes from here.

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