The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed Russian Yegor Chinakhov to a three-year deal that will start next season. This comes after Chinakhov helped Avangard Omsk win the KHL’s 2020-21 Gagarin Cup. The team’s public relations department announced the signing Sunday afternoon.
NEWS: #CBJ have signed 2020 1st round pick Yegor Chinakhov to a three-year entry level contract beginning in the 2020-21 season.
The forward helped Avangard Omsk win the 2021 KHL Gagarin Cup.https://t.co/LokTTPSOET
— CBJ Public Relations (@BlueJacketsPR) May 2, 2021
Blue Jackets Sign Yegor Chinakhov
The 20-year-old Chinakhov is coming off of a promising season in the KHL. He scored 10 goals and 17 points in 32 games during the regular season. Chinakhov then contributed five goals and seven points in 21 games during the championship run. It’s certainly a promising campaign for a player who wasn’t playing on a premiere Russian team.
The Blue Jackets originally selected Chinakhov in the first round of the 2020 Draft. It was easily one of the more shocking picks, but it is looking fine to this point. He is a fine skater with a scorer’s touch that has produced at every level of the Russian hockey system. The key will be seeing how the young forward adjusts to the North American style after years of playing only overseas. The good thing is that Columbus can proceed slowly with his development with their existing core being relatively young and cheap.
What This Means For The Future
It will probably be at least 2022-23 before Chinakhov is a serious option for the NHL roster. The team may be rebuilding this offseason, but the majority of key players are 27 years old or younger. The team also has several skaters who should return from injury including Gustav Nyquist that will block Chinakhov for at least one season.
However, don’t be surprised if the young Russian makes a case for himself before long. While Columbus does have a fairly young roster, it is one that could experience serious turnover. Only three forwards have a contract that extends past 2021-22. That means plenty of opportunities could exist very soon for some of Columbus’ young prospects.