Minor deals: Blue Jackets send Nikita Filatov to Ottawa; Rangers trade Evgeny Grachev to St. Louis
A pair of minor deals went down today and one of them featured a former first round pick. Columbus dealt struggling 2008 first round pick Nikita Filatov to Ottawa for their third round pick in the draft, 66th overall. With that pick the Blue Jackets selected Notre Dame forward T.J. Tynan.
Filatov’s failure to live up to his potential in Columbus is one smothered in controversy. Filatov was ushered into the NHL at 19 years-old under former head coach Ken Hitchcock. With Hitchcock being a strict defensive minded coach and Filatov meant to be a pure offensive talent, the two did not blend well together. Filatov was allowed to go play in the KHL for a season last year and spent most of this season playing for the Jackets’ AHL affiliate in Springfield. Perhaps a change of scenery is the medicine he needs to find his game and become an NHL player. The Senators certainly hope that that’s the case.
The Rangers sent a struggling Russian prospect of their own in Evgeny Grachev to St. Louis for their third round pick, 72nd overall. With that pick, the Rangers picked Minnesota high school forward Steven Fogarty. Grachev couldn’t quite get things going at all in the Rangers organization and Rangers GM Glen Sather said he’d been trying to deal him for the past year.
Perhaps Grachev will get a chance to find his game in a new location in St. Louis. Other forwards have been able to do that there in guys like Matt D’Agostini. That’s not to say Grachev is on that level, but the opportunity is there to be had.