The Columbus Blue Jackets front office have been having several conversations with agent Dan Milstein over the last year as Mr. Milstein represents superstar winger Artemi Panarin. But Mr. Milstein also represents the Jackets 6th round pick from 2015, defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov.
Gavrikov is a big, nasty, stay at home defenseman. He plays for the KHL power SKA St. Petersburg and was the Russian’s best defenseman at the 2018 Olympics. The 23-year-old is in his last year of his KHL deal. With all of the meetings between Gavrikov’s agent and the Jackets management happening, there has to have been substantive conversations regarding Gavrikov’s future in Columbus.
If he does chose to come over to North America, he will instantly be a top four defenseman. Ryan Murray is on an expiring deal that I’m sure the Jackets would like to extend given his play, but if they can’t Gavrikov would be a perfect replacement.
These are just five of many players who are hoping to make 2019 their best year yet. Who do you think is ready to break out in the new year? Let us know in the comments below.