Fresh off his inaugural NHL season, Vladislav Gavrikov very quickly made himself at home on the CBJ blue line. At 6’3 and 213 lbs., he’s hard to miss. He’s built like a truck and he’ll hit you like one, too. His pairing with David Savard just made sweet sense. On a team where Zach Werenski/Seth Jones get a lot of the defensive credit, Gav and Sav really kept everything on lock when they were out on the ice, and Gavrikov was often helpful on the offense, notching goals and assists several times when they were needed.
Fortunately for us, the man is just heating up:
He’s also one of my favorite players to watch pre- and post-game - his antics always make the team laugh, whether he’s stirring and tasting his soup or he’s picking up his “phone” to answer a call after a goal. He has a jolly, happy-to-be-here disposition in interviews, even when he’s fresh off the ice.
I actually profiled him back in February, in the prime of his season - I was equally impressed by him then, getting to watch him play regularly and seeing how he stepped up in Seth Jones’ absence. Here’s that profile, ICYMI.
Not much has changed since I wrote those words, except for that my appreciation and gratitude for his presence on this team has deepened. This is the perfect quote to sum up the role he plays on the team:
Great John Tortorella quote on Vladislav Gavrikov: "If he gets his tentacles (on you), he's like an octopus. If he gets you, it's tough to get away from him. He's all arms and he's strong and he's ugly as sin at times, but he doesn't get beat." #CBJ— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) February 12, 2020
Vladislav Gavrikov 2019-20 Stats
Games Played: 69
Games Played: 10
RFA this offseason (ineligible for offer sheet). Here’s the scoop on that:
Jarmo Kekalainen says the Blue Jackets always plan seven years in advance, talks the flat cap and is "100 percent sure" Pierre-Luc Dubois and Vladislav Gavrikov will be re-signed. https://t.co/JxpNGPCRlA— 1st Ohio Battery (@1stOhioBattery) September 3, 2020
While Gavrikov’s style of play is light on offense, he certainly knew how to score when it was handy. His best stretch of the season, as reported by Jeff Svoboda in the CBJ’s Battalion Breakdown series, was in a 24-game run from Dec. 5 to Jan. 22, during which he scored 3 goals, had 5 assists, and seemed tireless while playing 20+ min. games on the ice.
This one is obvious, and it wasn’t even his fault and it feels unfair to bring up except that if I have to share a low point, this is it. Brayden Point’s shot unfortunately dinged off Gavrikov in the Game 1 5 OT win in this year’s playoffs. An unfortunate bounce that was the epitome of being in the wrong place at the wrong time!
Don’t worry, Vlad - all is forgiven and forgotten; we can’t wait to see what you do with the rest of your time in Columbus. We hope it’s a long time!
How would you grade Vladislav Gavrikov this season?
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