The Arizona Coyotes will name 26-year-old John Chayka as their new general manager today, according to the Associated Press. He will be the youngest GM in NHL history.
The team hired Chayka, then 25, last May as an assistant general manager. The Coyotes fired GM Don Maloney in April, and they appear to be promoting from within.
Chayka played for a few Canadian junior hockey leagues from 2007 to 2010 before suffering a back injury, but the Coyotes likely didn’t promote him for his playing experience. He’s an analytics-heavy guy and the co-founder of Stathletes, a company that boasts the “deepest performance data” on hockey players. (Chayka left Stathletes when he took a job with the Coyotes.)
An NHL team hiring a data guy isn’t new: In 2014, the Oilers hired analytics blogger Tyler Dellow, and the Maple Leafs brought on 28-year-old Kyle Dubas as an assistant GM. Chayka’s age, combined with his higher position, make Arizona’s move stand out above those. If his approach works, however, the fact that he’s younger than 13 Coyotes on the current roster won’t really matter.