With free agency still two months away, NHL teams have been looking to Europe for new talent.
Yesterday, we found out that the Canadiens signed Jakub Jeranek, the Avs were reportedly bringing in Andrei Mironov and the Sabres were still in pursuit of Viktor Antipin.
It sounds like the Columbus Blue Jackets will be one of the next teams to make a “splash” in the European market, as they’ve extended an offer to KHL defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov.
The main difference between this potential signing and the other ones, is that Columbus has exclusive rights on Gavrikov.
The 21-year-old was Columbus’ sixth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He’s been with Yaroslavl Lokomotiv for the last three seasons, but with his contract about to come to an end, there’s a chance he could be coming to North America.
“We think he has a very good chance, if he wants to sign with us now, to step right in and play for us,” Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen told The Columbus Dispatch.
Gavrikov’s North American agent, Dan Milstein, will be meeting with his client in the next little while, and they’ll make a decision on his playing future.
“The KHL team (Yaroslavl) is making a sell on their part to re-sign him,” Milstein said. “I’ve been in communication with Columbus, so I’m going to sit with him and discuss options.”
He posted three goals and four assists in 54 KHL games in 2016-17.
Gavrikov is representing Russia at the 2017 World Hockey Championship.