Vladislav Gavrikov joined the LA Kings on Mar. 1, 2023, after coming to the west coast in a trade, with teammate Joonas Korpisalo, from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Although he was shut down by Blue Jackets management in early February for a potential trade to the Boston Bruins, that deal never materialized, allowing Kings’ general manager Rob Blake to acquire the left-handed defenseman.
Now that Gavrikov is playing for a Stanley Cup contender after spending the bulk of the 2022-23 season in the basement of the league’s standings, let’s learn a little bit more about one of the newest Kings.
Gavrikov Scored His First NHL Goal Against Jake Allen
Gavrikov made his NHL debut for the Blue Jackets on May 4, 2019, during a playoff game against the Boston Bruins. Although he has 16 career goals, including one with the Kings, he collected his first goal on Nov. 15, 2019, against Jake Allen and the St. Louis Blues. Interestingly, he scored an unassisted goal at 9:34 of the first period of a Blue Jackets 3-2 overtime victory.
Gavrikov Enjoys Setting Up His Fellow Teammates
After 256 games as a member of the Blue Jackets, Gavrikov collected 58 assists by setting up 25 different goal-scorers. However, his favorite teammate was Jack Roslovic, Oliver Bjorkstrand, and Patrik Laine, setting up five goals for each player, the most of any teammate.
Gavrikov is currently one of four active players from Yaroslavl, Russia
Yaroslavl is a city with an estimated population of 608,722, northwest of the Russian capital of Moscow. Historically, only four NHL players have come from the city, and they all are active league members today. Besides Gavrikov, his three comrades are Vladimir Tarasenko (New York Rangers), Alexander Yelesin (Vancouver Canucks), and Ivan Provorov (Philadelphia Flyers).
Gavrikov Won an Olympic Gold Medal
As many fans know, the NHL has yet to participate in the Winter Olympic Games since 2014, which has allowed amateur talents across the globe to compete. Interestingly, Gavrikov is one of the defensemen for the Olympic Athletes from Russia, who won the gold medal over Germany at that year’s tournament.
Additionally, he has a World Junior Championship silver medal (2015) and two World Championship bronze medals from 2017 and 2019.
Gavrikov Starred in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) for Five Years
Even though the Blue Jackets drafted Gavrikov as the 159th pick in 2015, he chose to stay in Russia to work on his game. After playing for Loko Yaroslavl growing up, he earned a promotion to the senior team, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, in the KHL, where he played for three seasons.
Although he never reached double digits for points scored while with Lokomotiv, he performed much better after landing with SKA Saint Peterburg with 34 points in two seasons. Ultimately, he finished his KHL career with 49 points in 222 games.
Gavrikov is the 41st Highest Scorer from the 2015 Draft Class
In case anyone forgot, the 2015 NHL Entry Draft was the year that Connor McDavid (821 points) and Mitch Marner (538) entered the league, and the game has been different since that day. Although 211 players were selected, including Gavrikov (159th overall), only 109 players have suited up for a game in the NHL.
Furthermore, 101 players have registered at least one point thus far, placing Gavrikov as the 41st highest-scoring player from his draft class.
Gavrikov is the First Player in Kings History to Wear #84
As one of the original expansion teams in 1967, the Los Angeles Kings have utilized almost every number available from 1 to 99 in their 56-year history. However, after his acquisition in March, Gavrikov became the first player in team history to wear #84, leaving only 83 and 87 left for digits in the 80s.
Conversely, the team has yet to issue the following numbers: 60, 65, 66, 69, 72, 75, 90, 93, 95, 96, and 98.