Taking Liberties With… Jakob Chychrun
Position: Defenseman, Arizona Coyotes
Hometown: Boca Raton, Fla.
Acquired: Selected by Coyotes in first round (16th overall) of 2016 NHL Draft
Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up?
Jakob Chychrun: There are so many memories. One of my best memories is watching the gold medal game in the Vancouver (2010) Olympics, and watching (Sidney) Crosby score the winning goal. I was the biggest Sidney Crosby fan growing up. He was the guy I looked up to and idolized. I grew up playing center, and so he was my guy. I remember that was really an exciting moment for me and that’s one that probably sticks out.
AZR: How did you feel playing against Crosby?
JC: Pretty cool. I can really admire him and see how strong he is and that makes you want to work that much harder to be able to compete with him.
AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving junior hockey?
JC: Just this whole year, my rookie year with the Coyotes. This year has been a great learning experience. I was able to accomplish something that I wanted to do for a really long time. By just playing here this year, I grew a lot as a person and as a player. I have a lot of work to do now.
AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice?
JC: My father (Jeff). He coached me my whole life growing up and taught me a lot about the game. That translated not only on the ice, but off the ice as well. He always taught me lessons of working hard and things that translate into everyday things, like my school work and just being a good human being. I got a lot of that from my dad.
AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players?
JC: Probably that same thing that my dad passed on to me. I like to give that to the kids as well. Actually, there are two things. One of the biggest things is knowing that only you can control how hard you work. Don’t be outworked by your peers, and always be the hardest working guy on and off the ice. The other thing is have fun. If you don’t enjoy what you do, then you won’t have that drive to get better every single day.
AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play?
JC: Yeah, baseball and golf. Baseball is something that I miss. I grew up playing baseball and that’s probably what I would have done with my life is it was not for hockey.
AZR: What does your game-day routine look like?
JC: It’s the same for each game. We have the morning skate, and then try and get good food in me. (Max Domi) and me have a guy who comes over to the house and make us a pre-game meal. I have a nap and usually range my nap from a half-hour to about 90 minutes and then show up at the rink. Get my sticks ready, my mind right and get ready for the game.
AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant here in the Phoenix area?
JC: Yes, I like True Foods and Mastro’s Ocean Club (in Kierland Commons, Scottsdale). Those are my two favorites. When my family is in town, I like to take them to those two spots.
AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip?
JC: Suits – I feel like we live in our suits on the road. Usually bring a couple of suits and tie and shirt combinations. Other than that, just some supplements and vitamins and protein stuff. Plus, my toiletries, my toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving kit, stuff like that.
– Compiled by Mark Brown