The Vancouver Canucks are attempting to sign towering 6’7″ Russian defenceman Nikita Tryamkin and bring him over to North America before the end of this season.
Tryamkin, the Canucks’ third round selection from the 2014 draft, is a veteran of the pro game. Still just 21-years-old, he has already played four seasons in the KHL with Yekaterinburg Automobilist.
According to some in the Russian media, Tryamkin has already reached an agreement with the Canucks. According to Canucks GM Jim Benning, he hasn’t.
According to Russian reporters, Tryamkin has an agreement to join the #Canucks, pending paperwork. According to Benning, he doesn't. Fun.
— Pass it to Bulis (@passittobulis) March 4, 2016
Why the difference in opinion? Perhaps it has to do with the salary cap.
VAN sources say the #Caucks are trying to sign defenseman Nikita Tryamkin but are dealing with some cap issues.
— NEWS 1130 Sports (@NEWS1130Sports) March 3, 2016
Injuries and LTIR status can change things, of course, so I would expect something gets done with Tryamkin soon.
"There's a player we drafted, Nikita Tryamkin, that we're in negotiation with his team to bring him over as soon as we can" – Benning
— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) March 4, 2016
#Canucks have until June 1st to sign Tryamkin – otherwise he becomes a UFA
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) March 4, 2016
There’s a bit of a sensitive timeline with Traymkin, as he will become an unrestricted free agent if he isn’t signed by June 1.
Judging by what those who have seen him play have to say, the Canucks have a player with a bright future. Vancouver hasn’t had one of their third round drafts pick become an every day player for the team since Alex Edler, who was drafted in 2004.
— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) March 5, 2016
Here’s how Hockey’s Future describes Tryamkin’s talent:
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.
Vancouver could conceivably have two imposing Russian defenders on the team next year, if both Tryamkin and 6’5″ Andrey Pedan make the team. The Canucks don’t have a lot of good defensive prospects in their system, so it’s imperative that the ones they do have pan out.