Vancouver Canucks prospect defenceman Nikita Tryamkin and his team Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg got kicked out of the KHL playoffs, making Tryamkin available for the Canucks.
The Vancouver Canucks were reported to be in negotiations with 21-year-old defenceman Nikita Tryamkin of Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg at the beginning of February. They did not get a contract done back then, but are back negotiating after the conclusion of Tryamkin’s season.
Avtomobilist finished the season seventh in the KHL’s Eastern Conference and lost the first playoff round against Metallurg Magnitogorsk with 4-2 in a best-of-seven series. Tryamkin could come over to North America, make some additional money and burn the first year of his entry-level contract.
According to NEWS 1130 Sports, the Canucks are “dealing with some cap issues.” According to General Fanager, the Canucks have $2,140,930 left in salary cap space, so I am not sure what those issues are about.
When rumours about potential negotiations first emerged, the plan was to sign Tryamkin and let him play for the Canucks’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Utica Comets. At this point, however, the Canucks seem to want him in Vancouver instead. Back in his draft interviews, Tryamkin noted that he only wants to make the move to North America if he plays in the NHL, so that will help the negotiations.
First-pairing D-man Alexander Edler is still out with a fractured fibula and is expected to return late this month. But, even without him, the Canucks have seven defencemen on their roster. How do they want to add Tryamkin and stay under the 23-player roster limit when Edler and centre Brandon Sutter return? That will be up to general manager Jim Benning.
Unrestricted free agents Matt Bartkowski and Yannick Weber will definitely be gone at the end of the season. So, even if the Canucks choose to re-sign Dan Hamhuis and call up Andrey Pedan, they should have enough room to keep Tryamkin with the big club next season. But, he will obviously have to prove he’s good enough first — the following weeks would be the perfect chance to do that.
Tryamkin, the Canucks’ third-round pick of the 2014 NHL Draft, could add a lot of much-needed physicality to the team. Listed at 6-foot-8 and 231 pounds, Tryamkin has a Zdeno Chara-like frame — and he knows how to use it. The big Russian seems to be the perfect player type for the NHL.
GM Benning announced the club’s intent to give more ice time to the kids in the following weeks, so now is the perfect time for Tryamkin to make the move. Plus, Canucks fans would love to see what he can do.