Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Vladislav Gavrikov, whose season with the KHL has officially ended, is expected to join the team soon, per a report on Friday.
Per report D Vladislav Gavrikov is expected to join #CBJ soon. He's also eligible to play in the playoffs like Nikita Gusev— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) April 12, 2019
Gavrikov's KHL season ended on Tuesday when his club, SKA St. Petersburg, was knocked out of the KHL Conference finals by HC CSKA Moscow.
Gavrikov was a sixth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft for Columbus and has spent the past four seasons in the KHL: first with the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl and more recently with St. Petersburg. He's regarded as a physical, shutdown defenseman who skates well and can join the play.
Now that he's on the verge of joining the NHL club, he's also eligible to play in the postseason with the Blue Jackets, should the team elect to use him. With the continued absences of defensemen Ryan Murray and Adam McQuaid, it's definitely a possibility that Gavrikov could find his way into the lineup, though nothing is guaranteed as of now.
#CBJ GM Jarmo Kekalainen will not comment on @IgorEronko report that D Vladislav Gavrikov is joining club. Told wheels are in motion, but many steps to clear: Gavrikovs release from KHL contractual obligation, contract w Blue Jackets and work visa approval. No timetable as yet.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) April 12, 2019
In the four seasons since he was drafted by the Blue Jackets, Gavrikov has tallied 16 goals and 32 assists and a +94 rating in the KHL. In his final season with St. Petersburg (that just ended), he racked up 20 points in 60 games.