This morning news came out that Canucks defenceman Nikita Tryamkin has signed with Avtomobilist in the KHL:
— KHL (@khl_eng) April 20, 2017
In 66 games this past season, Tryamkin posted 2 goals, 7 assists and 64 PIM.
Also – Philip Larsen signed a two year deal Salavat Yulaev.
In the case of Traymkin, this is a hit to the Canucks depth on the backend as it was expected that Tryamkin was going to be in the top 6 for the foreseeable future. Tryamkin did well in underlying data, relative to how poor the Canucks were, having above average WAR (wins above replacement) and XPM, which was only dragged down by his penalty differential.
From a ‘make-up’ of the defence going forward, it also takes a 6’7″ defenceman who gave the grouping some size and grit.
Based on the reports, one of the main reasons that Tryamkin is leaving to the KHL is because he wasn’t satisfied with his ice-time with the Canucks. Furthermore, the right side appeared to be full with Chris Tanev, Troy Stecher and Erik Gudbranson occupying the that side. Obviously things could’ve changed over the course of the summer, but at first glance, it appeared he would have trouble cracking the opening day lineup on that side.
His full interview can be found here. (In Russian)
As long as the Canucks provide Tryamkin with a qualifying offer prior to the June 27th deadline, they will retain his NHL rights until he were to become an UFA. That means that Canucks will retain the Yekaterinburg native’s rights until July 1, 2022.
Without a doubt, this signing throws a wrench in the Canucks plans for next season and likely opens the door for top prospect Olli Juolevi to crack the NHL roster next season. But it doesn’t close the door entirely on Tryamkin never coming back.
Larsen signing in the KHL isn’t a surprise, as he it was clear that he wasn’t in the long term picture for the Canucks. The Canucks surrendered a 2017 5th round pick to Edmonton for Larsen. He appeared in 26 games this season, where he had 1 goal and 5 assists.