Well, Perhaps Chekov is like Wesley Crusher (or to be more accurate, perhaps Wesley Crusher was like Chekov).
But yes, only the most hardcore fans who are about strict adherance to canon will be up in arms about Chekov. Most casual fans and even just the genreal populace know that Chekov is one of TOS's main characters. They would wonder where he was. They would want to know where the "Nuclear wessel" guy is.