On Thursday afternoon, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced the signing of RFA defenseman Vladislav Gavirkov to a three-year, $8.4M contract ($2.8M AAV).
The deal expires after the 2022-23 season, at which point the soon-to-be 25-year old Russian will become a UFA.
From the club's official statement:
Gavrikov, 24, recorded five goals and 13 assists for 18 points with 18 penalty minutes and a +1 plus/minus rating in 69 contests with Columbus in 2019-20. He led all Blue Jackets rookies in assists and time on ice (18:59) and ranked second in points and shots on goal (81), while finishing sixth-T among NHL rookie defensemen in goals and points and seventh-T in assists. He added 1-2-3 and six penalty minutes in 10 playoff outings, including scoring his first career postseason goal in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Qualifying Series vs. Toronto on August 7.
In his first season in North America, Gavrikov found chemistry in a second-pairing, shutdown role alongside David Savard. With Zach Werenski and Seth Jones the incumbent first-pairing and Ryan Murray and Markus Nutivaara gone via trades, the expectation is that Gavrikov will once again play an effective game on the second pair at even strength, while simultaneously being asked to play on the penalty-kill.
Just the one season of data for Gavrikov in Columbus but what there is looks pretty good, especially defensively. pic.twitter.com/D5WsKuVqA0— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) November 5, 2020
With the signing, all eyes turn to Pierre-Luc Dubois, who now stands alone as the lone Blue Jackets roster player without a contract for the upcoming season.