CANUCKS BANTER By Andrew Chernoff MARCH 8, 2016
The last few days have had Canucks news filled with the excitement of Canucks prospect 6’7″ Russian defenceman Nikita Tryamkin coming over to North America before the end of this season and playing some games in the NHL with the Canucks.
The Canucks drafted Tryamkin in the third round, 66th overall, in 2014. He is 21-years-old, and has already played four seasons in the KHL with Yekaterinburg Automobilist.
One of the reasons for Tryamkin to be on the Canucks radar at this time is he will become an unrestricted free agent if he isn’t signed by June 1.
Hockey’s Future describes Tryamkin’s talent as follows:
Tryamkin is a huge defender with a cannon of a shot. His size and puck skills are his two biggest assets. Drafted in his third year of eligibility after competing for Russia in the 2014 World Junior Championship, he is a late bloomer and must continue to work on his skating and positional play.
Long-term Tryamkin projects as a traditional stay-at-home defenseman with the size and reach to take away passing lanes and prevent scoring opportunities.
According to Cam Tucker Metro, there are a few issues:
His contract in the KHL doesn’t expire until April 30, so there is a task of figuring out how Tryamkin can get out of that existing deal before he can sign in Vancouver.
There is a precedent for a player getting out of their KHL contract.
Based on reports out of Pittsburgh last summer, Sergei Plotnikov paid $500,000 to terminate his deal in the KHL in order to sign with the Penguins. It’s unknown if Tryamkin and his representatives would view that as a viable option, if it’s available.
When it comes to cap space – the Canucks had $2.14 million available as of Thursday, according to General Fanager – Benning said the organization should have a better idea of that next week when they get updated medical reports on injured defenceman Alex Edler (broken fibula) and Brandon Sutter (broken jaw, and currently on the long-term injured reserve).
Once a deal is signed, Tryamkin’s immigration documents would then need to be figured out.
Provided that all goes according to plan and the Canucks can get him under contract before the end of this season, Tryamkin would then report to Vancouver to join the NHL club.
Tryamkin is coming off his most productive season in the KHL. In 53 games played, he had 4 goals and 7 assists. He’s a big, left shooting defenseman, which any NHL team could use, if he can be effective utilizing the potential of his size and shot, similar to Zedeno Chara of the Boston Bruins. He can also play defense on the right side.
As for Tryamkin sticking with the NHL club, general manager Jim Benning told the Province on Sunday:
“As far as him staying over here for the long term, we’re going to sign him and get him over here practising and then hopefully get him in some games between now and the end of the season.
“If he’s ready (for the NHL), that’s perfect. If he still needs time to develop, we’ll have to talk to him. With all Russian players, you hope that they stick it out for that development period and are part of your team long term.”
According to that Province article, Tryamkin is a stay-at-home defenceman who skates decently for his size and possesses a big shot.
Canuck fans, keep your fingers crossed: the next Zedeno Chara could be coming to Vancouver.