Vladimir Tkachev Signs With Edmonton Oilers


Imagine a player with NHL first round potential ending up in your lap after they went un-drafted in their draft year. Well for the Edmonton Oilers that dream became a reality when they invited Vladimir Tkachev to training camp. Tkachev was ranked 58 by central scouting because of his small frame but had the skill of a first rounder and just so happened to earn an invite to Oilers camp.

The Edmonton Oilers invited Vladimir Tkachev to camp after he went un-drafted in 2014 and he had one of the best camps of any rookie earning himself an entry-level deal with the Oilers.

With the NHL becoming a sport for bigger and stronger players, Tkachev’s small frame of  5 foot 8 and 141 pounds scared a lot of teams away from drafting this guy. In fact his small frame, which makes him look quite small on the ice, scared all 30 teams away from drafting him in one of 6 rounds.

Oilers rookie camp and then main training camp, Tkachev has been proving good things come in small packages. In rookie camp he had four assists in four games, following that up with three more assists in his first three NHL preseason affairs. He’s looked good and has proved that he can play at the NHL level against some pretty solid competition.

In fact he’s outlasted almost all of the Oilers other junior aged players aside from Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse. Despite signing his entry-level deal with the Oilers after an impressive camp, Vladimir Tkachev was returned the WHL’s Moncton Wildcats for this upcoming season and is a long ways away from NHL play.

The tiny Tkachev found instant chemistry with the giant 6 foot 5 and 232 pound forward Bogdan Yakimov on the ice. Yakimov more than made up for what his much smaller linemate was lacking and was able to go into the dirty areas for him. The unlikely duo have been the two most pleasant surprises for the Oilers and their fans this preseason.

The tiny Russian now being called Vladdy Hockey has a long road ahead of him. He’ll need to bulk up in the WHL this upcoming season and continue to own on the scoreboard. He’s now signed to an entry-level deal so he’ll get invited back to camp next season but he needs to also show he can compete against NHL veterans who are playing their best on a night to night basis and not just during the preseason.

Vladdy Hockey will turn 19 next week and despite going un-drafted may have just found a new NHL home. If he can bulk up and not loose his skills he could look really good playing with Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the future.