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Report: Tryamkin reaches agreement with Canucks, ‘en route’ to Vancouver

Switzerland Ice Hockey Lugano Yekaterinburg

Yekaterinburg’s Nikita Tryamkin, left, vies for the puck with Lugano’s Gregory Hofmann during the game between Switzerland’s HC Lugano and Russia’s Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg at the 89th Spengler Cup ice hockey tournament in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015. (Pascal Muller/Keystone via AP)


The Vancouver Canucks -- in desperate need of some good publicity these days -- have reportedly struck a deal to bring hulking Russian defenseman Nikita Tryamkin to North America.

And it sounds like he could make his NHL debut this season.

Tryamkin was the 66th overall pick in the 2014 draft. The 21-year-old’s KHL season recently ended, as his Yekaterinburg Automobilis club was eliminated in the first round of the Gagarin Cup playoffs.

It was reported about a month ago that the Canucks were working on bringing Tryamkin over. The difference between then and now is that he’s expected now to report to the Canucks, not their AHL affiliate in Utica.

GM Jim Benning providing a scouting report on Tryamkin to Metro Vancouver.

“He’s unique because of his size,” Benning said. “He’s coordinated and he’s a very good skater. Because at (six-foot-eight-inches), you have that long reach, he can defend. He’s got a big wing span to defend and when he gets the puck, he can make a good first pass and get it going the other way.”

The Canucks badly need to upgrade their blue line, so Tryamkin’s debut will be closely watched, whenever that may be.