5. D Nikita Tryamkin
Acquired: Drafted 66th overall, 2014
A so-called European assignment clause is perhaps the only reason why Nikita Tryamkin played 13 games in the NHL last season. Ever since being drafted 66th-overall in 2014, Tryamkin said he would only come over to North America if he was guaranteed a spot in the NHL. If the Canucks decide he isn’t ready, he will go back to Russia instead of developing in the AHL.
Read More: Nikita Tryamkin Is the Real Deal
For a European player, that certainly makes sense. If you can play in your home country and be paid a great salary, why would you move across the globe to play minor-league hockey in a foreign country while making less money? For an NHL club, on the other hand, it is obviously a difficult decision.
To be honest, I don’t know whether Tryamkin is ready to play a full season in the NHL. He has all the tools to be successful one day, but it might not be enough to play a major role in the world’s best hockey league just yet. If it wasn’t for his out-clause, I would predict him to start the season with the Utica Comets. But since he does have this clause, I predict him to be NHL-ready in 2016-17 — which is more wishful thinking than an actual prediction.
Next: Brendan Gaunce