The Oilers have dipped into the waiver wire to add some depth to their wings. The team has claimed Valentin Zykov off of waivers from the Carolina Hurricanes.
— Daily Faceoff (@DailyFaceoff) November 30, 2018
Zykov was originally drafted by the L.A. Kings in the second round of the 2013 and he was then traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in a deadline deal involving Kris Versteeg back in 2016. He’s a big, strong, winger who uses his size to excel down low and in front of the net. He also possesses a good shot and high-end stick skills.
Zykov, a 6’1″ winger from Russia, has put up really good numbers in the AHL, but it hasn’t translated to the NHL at this point. Last year, he scored 33 goals and racked up 54 points in 63 games for the Charlotte Checkers, good for most on the team in goals and second for points. He also scored three goals and seven points in 10 games with Carolina in the NHL last season.
He’s on a two-year deal with a cap hit of $675,000 so there’s virtually zero risk attached to this claim. Zykov, given his skill and success in the AHL, is someone who could catch fire if played in the right situation here. If it works out, he’ll be a bargain for his cap hit. If not, then he can be thrown back on waivers and the team can try again with somebody else. Maybe do Zykov with Ryan Spooner as the wingers around JJ Khaira and have that be the line Connor McDavid double shifts with occasionally.
I imagine Patrick Russell, who doesn’t require waivers, will be sent back down to AHL Bakersfield to make room for Zykov. I’d like to see Zykov in a top-six role, but I don’t know who of Jesse Puljujarvi, Alex Chiasson, or Drake Caggiula I would take out of that mix right now.
I wrote about acquiring Zykov in the WWYDW earlier this week, Christian Pagnani suggested the Oilers should claim him yesterday when he went on waivers, and Dusty Nielson talked about him yesterday in Inside The Nation.
VALENTIN ZYKOV’S CAREER SO FAR
Source: Elliotte Friedman, Verified Twitter Account, 11/30/2018 – 10:03 am MST