Arizona Coyotes general manager John Chayka has signed a long-term contract extension, the team announced Monday.
Chayka was hired in May of 2016 and became the youngest general manager in NHL history. The 30-year-old is in his fourth season as GM and was named president of hockey operations in Arizona in July of 2017.
“I am very grateful to [owner Alex] Meruelo (and) family for believing in our vision for the Coyotes franchise,” Chayka said. “This is a testament to our entire hockey operations staff for the work they’ve done to get this club on track. We look forward to continuing to build on our foundation in order to reach our ultimate goal of winning a Stanley Cup.”
The 9-6-2 Coyotes are fifth in the Pacific Division ahead of Monday’s action against the Washington Capitals.
In the desert, Arizona’s become a pretty good hockey team. They’re not quite a perennial playoff contender, but one has to imagine this year could table a pretty good post-season push if all goes according to plan.
And the important thing is the Coyotes believe in what Chayka’s done so far. That’s included acquiring the likes of Phil Kessel, Nick Schmaltz, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Antti Raanta, and Darcy Kuemper. Among his draft picks are Clayton Keller and Jakob Chychrun.
The ‘Yotes haven’t made the playoffs in seven years, but they’re currently one point behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference. There’s a lot of hockey to go this season, of course, but the process seems to be going right.
“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,” said Chayka.
Chayka’s background ahead of the Arizona hire was predominately in analytics and he’s brought that approach to the general manager post. He was director of hockey operations for Stathletes, an analytics company he co-founded with his sister.
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