What, you didn’t think I would include him? Technically, the Canucks still hold the rights of Nikita Tryamkin, meaning that he is indeed listed on their depth chart.
The man known to fans as the “Big Friendly Giant”, the expectations were high for Tryamkin right from the day he was drafted in the third round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Standing at a towering 6’7 and weighing in at 265 pounds, fans were hoping that Tryamkin could be an absolute unit and force to be reckoned with that kept opponents honest whenever he was on the ice.
Hence the nickname “Big Friendly Giant”, fans quickly realized that Tyramkin may very well not have a mean bone in his body. Although he was compared to Zdeno Chara a countless number of times, mostly due to his larger than life stature, Tryamkin said he wanted to be better than Chara.
He was improving with every game, and near the end of his time with the Canucks, it seemed as though there was a feature and highlight package on Tryamkin nearly every time the Canucks played. At the time, Troy Stecher was the Canucks’ most exciting defence prospect, so you can understand why fans were so excited to see Tryamkin having success.
After the 2016-17 season, Tryamkin packed his bags and headed back home to Russia to play in the KHL. I won’t get too much into rumours of why he left, but essentially, Tryamkin wasn’t happy with his ice time under former Canucks’ head coach Willie Desjardins, so he made the decision to pack his bags and go to a place where he knew he’d get plenty of playing time.
The Canucks still hold his rights, and his contract with his KHL club, Yekaterinburg Automobilist, ends next season. Meaning the opportunity would be there for Tryamkin to make a return to the Canucks, who have since cut ties with Desjardins. Fingers crossed.