The Columbus Blue Jackets still face significant center depth issues. They can cure those issues with a trade for Vadim Shipachyov.
Could the answer to the Jackets center problem be answered by a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights? Not for our old friend William Karlsson, but for a 30-year-old Russian in his first season in the NHL.
Vadim Shipachyov was a big acquisition for the Vegas Golden Knights in their first offseason as they signed the center to a two year deal. Shipachyov has been an extremely productive scorer in the KHL for the last seven seasons. Playing for St. Petersburg SKA, Vadim has scored more than a point per game in his last three seasons on average.
But not all is well in Vegas. Vadim, who many considered to be the Golden Knights top line center, has only played three games in the NHL. He started the season in the AHL with the Chicago Wolves. The situation is murky but things aren’t going well between the franchise and Shipachyov who is looking for a way out.
According to Elliot Friedman and tweeted by Andrew Walker, Vegas has given Shipachyov permission to look elsewhere. Elsewhere could include Ohio!
Of course there is the question of what he is worth in a trade and the risk associated with trading for a first year NHLer. There are multiple examples of high scoring KHL studs coming over and continuing to produce such as Alexander Radulov.
But there is the risk that Shipachyov won’t be happy anywhere, not just in Vegas. He may not be a guy that gets comfortable anywhere in the NHL and jets back to Russia.
The guy can clearly play though. And has played with a familiar face.
Thats right. Our own Artemi Panarin was on Shipachyov’s line in the 2016 World Championship and they played incredibly well. Shipachyov led the tournament in scoring with 18 points in 10 games. Closely followed by Artemi Panarin with 15 points in 10 games.
The two, along with Evgani Dadonov, carried the Russian team to a bronze medal. The three played incredibly well with each other. You can bet that Panarin’s english got a lot better when he heard that Shipachyov was available and went up to JD and Jarmo and asked them to trade for his friend.
Shipachyov would break the offense wide open for the Columbus Blue Jackets. He has to be a top target now for the front office. With prospects galore, the Jackets should look to trade a youngster, or two, for the 30-year-old center.
He is signed for the next two years for $3.5 and $4 million for the next two years. The Columbus Blue Jackets have the cap space. Time to make a trade for Shipachyov.