Defenceman Nikita Tryamkin signs two-year extension to stay in KHL

Vancouver Canucks' Nikita Tryamkin (88) is sent off the ice after fighting Dallas Stars' Jamie Benn. (Ben Nelms/CP)

Nikita Tryamkin is staying in the KHL after all.

The hulking defenceman has signed a two-year extension with Yekaterinburg Avtomobilist despite a rumoured return to North America with the Vancouver Canucks, who own his NHL rights.

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported in March, that the Canucks planned to reach out to the 26-year-old to gauge his plans going forward after Avtomobilist were ousted from the KHL playoffs.

The Canucks, who selected Tryamkin in the third round (66th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft, appeared interested in bringing him back to the NHL last summer before he signed a one-year deal with the KHL club.

“We still really like him as a prospect and stuff and think he can be in our top six,” Canucks general manager Jim Benning told Sportsnet's Iain MacIntyre at the time.

Tryamkin — who clocks in at six-foot-seven and 253 pounds — became a regular on the Canucks' blue line in 2016-17, averaging 16:44 of ice time and recording nine points in 66 games.

But he returned to his hometown of Yekaterinburg — where he began his career — for both personal and professional reasons. MacIntyre reported he and his partner had trouble adjusting to Vancouver and he was unhappy with his usage by former coach Willie Desjardins.

Though, per MacIntyre, Tryamkin was also dissatisfied with Avtomobilist last year — where he was given and then stripped of the captaincy — and wanted to return to Vancouver.

In 2020-21, Tryamkin put up 15 points in 60 games while averaging 20:59 in ice time for Yekaterinburg.

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