NHL Trade Deadline Primer: Vladislav Gavrikov And The High Price Of Mid-Level Defensemen
Every year there is a defenseman like this that gets traded for an outrageously high price that nobody expected them to get traded for. He is that defenseman this season.
The NHL trade deadline is just around the corner, so let’s take a deeper look at some individual players and teams that figure to make headlines over the next few weeks. We look at available players, why they are on the market, what they might bring in a trade, teams that should be interested, and much more. We continue today with Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov.
One of my biggest misses of the 2022-23 NHL season was the preseason belief that the Columbus Blue Jackets might actually be good.
The free agency addition of Johnny Gaudreau gave them a bonafide superstar to pair up with Patrik Laine, and there was a decent level of talent in place around them. Add in some improved goaltending (their biggest issue a year ago) and I thought there was a real chance they could hang around in the Eastern Conference playoff race and maybe even contend for a Wild Card spot. Especially if second-year center Cole Sillinger could take a big leap forward.
None of that actually happened.
Injuries added up, the goaltending never rebounded, Sillinger hit a sophomore slump, and instead of competing for a playoff spot the Blue Jackets now find themselves in a race for the potential No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL draft.
Now it is time to start selling.
Their most attractive player to deal before the deadline is going to be defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov, and they seem committed to dealing him. The Blue Jackets have already started sitting him to prevent injury, and they have reportedly set an extremely high asking price of three assets back in return, including what will almost certainly be a first-round pick.
They will probably end up getting it because NHL general managers can not help themselves at this time of year when it comes to mid-level defenders.
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