Dmitrij Jaskin, Blues Hope to Be Closing in on Contract
St. Louis Blues second round pick Dmitrij Jaskin has to be one of the best stories coming out of the CHL this season. The strong power forward leads the league in scoring with 81 points in just 43 games. It certainly paid off playing against men in his native Czech Republic as a teenager.
It won’t be long before he joins the long list of recent St. Louis draft picks to land in the NHL.
Sources say getting Jaskin signed to an NHL contract is slightly complicated.
Even though Jaskin has spent this season with Moncton in the QMJHL, he remains under contract with Slavia Praha in the Czech League. His contract runs through the end of next season which means he can’t sign an NHL deal until he and Slavia Praha reach some type of agreement.
Sources say those talks are ongoing.
They did allow Jaskin to leave this season to play junior in Canada and he isn’t the first player to be in this situation. The problem Jaskin faces is there isn’t a transfer agreement between the NHL and the Czech Republic. The same situation also exits with the KHL in Russia.
This is different than Sweden, Finland, and Slovakia who do have transfer agreements in place. The NHL hasn’t had a transfer agreement with Russia or the Czech since 2004.
There’s a window from the end of the World Championships to mid July when NHL clubs can sign players from Sweden, Finland, and Slovakia. The NHL sets the amount with each federation but wants no part of any transaction involving players from the Czech Republic or Russia without a transfer agreement in place.
Sources say a deal between the Blues and Jaskin is virtually done with the only hurdle being the Czech contract he signed as a teen. He’ll receive a strong deal with St. Louis that puts him at the top of his round.
There’s no rush here as the Blues wouldn’t likely announce any deal until after March 1st, this would allow the contract to begin next season.
But first this wrinkle with Slavia Praha must be ironed out. Both the Czech and the KHL are stubborn to sign transfer agreements as neither country is motivated to cut a deal with little financial benefit.
For example in the Czech Republic they can make more money from selling a player to the KHL than the NHL. If you remember when the Pittsburgh Penguins were trying to sign Evgeni Malkin, his KHL club demanded an outrageous payment in the $25 Million range.
This whole situation is dependent on how hard of ball Slavia Praha wants to play with Jaskin. They have the ability to make things as easy or as difficult as they want. The club is coached by former NHL forward Vladimir Ruzicka.
Like Ty Rattie, another CHL stud currently playing with Portland in the WHL, Jaskin will push for a roster spot with the Blues next season.
Rattie could finish the season with Peoria in the AHL but his Winterhawks team has a chance to go all the way which would have him playing into May.
Scouts this season have raved about Jaskin’s potential as he’s considered a strong player with size. He has good offensive instincts with hands and a shot. He isn’t afraid to use his body either.
The Blues landed just past 6:30 this morning following an ordeal with their charter company Swift Aviation. This forced Blues players to check into a hotel near the Vancouver airport where they would wait over 12 hours by the time the team headed back to St. Louis.
The Blues were in a high end hotel and taken care of but with back to back games beginning tonight it created a less than desired scenario.
The team landed around 6:30 a.m. and took the morning off. Morning skates are overrated anyway so it shouldn’t impact their performance tonight. Wednesday in Colorado is the game Blues coaches are concerned about as the team will arrive in Denver well after midnight tonight.
I’m told the repair wasn’t considered major and shouldn’t have taken as long as it did.
The Blues did consider flying back today which (flying on gameday) is frowned upon by the NHL. The risk of another mechanical issue along with the time difference led to the decision to leave late last night. The last thing the Blues needed was to get stuck in Vancouver and unable to make it back in time to play San Jose.
These are the situations when medical and equipment trainers shouldn’t be overlooked. Both Ray Barile and Bert Godin, along with their staff, were at the rink early this morning preparing for the day.
More to come,