Today, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced they have assigned Vitaly Abramov to the Cleveland Monsters for the remainder of the 2016-17 season.
The Blue Jackets drafted Abramov in the third round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. After being drafted, Abramov returned to the QMJHL to play for Gatineau Olympiques. In 66 games this season, Abramov notched an astounding 104 points in the form of 46 goals and 58 assists.
Those 104 points were the highest in the QMJHL thus Abramov was awarded the Jean Beliveau Trophy.
On Wednesday night, Abramov was awarded the Michel Briere Memorial Trophy for being the MVP of the QMJHL.
In December of 2016, Abramov was signed to a three-year entry-level contract by the Blue Jackets.
Now, I know you are all wondering how it’s possible Abramov can play with the AHL since he was drafted out of the CHL.
According to an article written on Sportsnet (article can be found here) in March of 2016:
When a player's CHL season ends, they are allowed to join an AHL club on an amateur tryout contract for the remainder of that AHL season. But when the next season begins, the player's options fall back to the NHL or CHL if he's under 20.
On October 28th, 2016 Craig Morgan of “Arizona Sports” touched on the subject in reference to Dylan Strome. (Article can be found here)
The NHL-CHL agreement only permits junior eligible players (under 20) to play nine games in the NHL before teams must burn the first year of those players’ NHL contracts without the ability to send them to the American Hockey League until junior season is over.
European players further complicate The Agreement. If European players are drafted in the CHL draft before they're drafted by an NHL club, this rule applies to them. However, if they're drafted as a member of a European squad, and choose post-NHL-draft to play for a CHL team, they can, in fact, report to the NHL team's minor squads before the age limit kicks in.
Basically, Abramov can play in the AHL for the remainder of the 2016-17 season because the QMJHL/CHL season is over. Since he’s under 20 and hasn’t played four years of junior hockey, next season he will revert back to “NHL or CHL” status.
Where will Abramov fit on the Monsters?
Abramov is speedy enough to play with guys like Joe Pendenza, Markus Hannikainen, Zac Dalpe, Sonny Milano, and Kole Sherwood.
Like Dalpe and Milano, he knows how to create something out of nothing and excels when creativity is needed to score a goal.
Abramov is a player who can do tape-to-tape passes all day long. This is one of T.J. Tynan’s fortes. While I would love to see them play together, I’m not sure how having two guys who are 5’8”-5’9” on a line would work out.
Having him and Carlsson on the ice at the same time would be the smartest idea. Yes, Carlsson is a defender and Abramov is a winger. Both of them are great at knowing when a play will unfold on the other end of the ice. If they learn to communicate with one another right off the bat, the pair will be virtually unstoppable when playing together.
Will Abramov be ready to take on bigger and stronger veterans in the AHL? I hope so. The Monsters are in a battle for their lives right now and need a prolific scorer like Abramov in their corner.