The Canucks have assigned forward Nikolay Goldobin to the Utica Comets this morning:
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) January 13, 2018
Goldobin has appeared in 14 games with the Canucks this season, posting two goals and two assists. He had a season-low 6:32 of ice-time last night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. It seemed inevitable that Goldobin would be heading back to the Comets with Brandon Sutter expected to return to the lineup soon. Since the young Russian was assigned this morning, it’s fair to assume that Sutter will be reactivated from injured reserve and be available for the Canucks last game before their bye week.
Even if Sutter isn’t ready to go for tomorrow, the Comets play on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while the Canucks have the full week off. The Moskva native has 7 goals and 12 assists in 18 games at the AHL level this year.
Goldobin had some positive signs during this call-up – his defensive play was noticeably better and more consistent and he was still generating offence. He will head back to the Comets and take over their first line spot again. Ideally, he will go down to the Comets, dominate and find his back to the Canucks in the near future. If the Canucks do move someone like Thomas Vanek at the trade deadline, then Goldobin could get a roster spot for the remainder of the season.
It is important to note that Goldobin is eligible for waivers next season despite having a year remaining on entry-level contract.