Nikita Tryamkin is inching closer to becoming a Canuck.
Tryamkin’s fourth KHL season ended Thursday, when his Yekaterinburg Avtomobilist club was eliminated by Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the opening round of the KHL playoffs.
And it appears the highly touted defensive prospect will join the Vancouver Canucks before the NHL season ends.
“There’s a player we drafted, Nikita Tryamkin, that we’re in negotiation with his team to bring him over as soon as we can,” Vancouver GM Jim Benning said Friday.
Salary-cap issues should no longer be an issue in Vancouver's effort to ink Tryamkin to a three-year, entry-level contract, with defenceman Alex Edler place on long-term injured reserve.
Avtomobilist announced on its website that although Tryamkin is signed through April 30, the club accepted the defenceman's request to terminate his contract early and report to North America. Avtomobilist will retain Tryamkin's KHL rights.
Visa issues are now the only hurdle in Vancouver's way.
The 21-year-old Russian was drafted in the third round (66th overall) by Vancouver at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Tryamkin, who turned pro as a teenager, is a big (six-foot-six, 220 pounds), stay-at-home blueliner who registered a career-best 11 points in the KHL this season.