July 2, 2018 | 12:48am ET



Artemi Panarin, left wing


Trade discussions involving Columbus Blue Jackets forward Artemi Panarin are believed to have escalated in the last couple of days, TFP has learned.

A number of teams have inquired about Panarin’s availability going back to the NHL Draft, and talks have apparently picked up steam.

Panarin, 26, is in the final year of a two-year, $6 million contract and can become an unrestricted free agent next July. He informed the Blue Jackets almost three weeks ago that he does not plan on signing an extension with the club, at this time, prompting trade chatter and speculation to rise.

It’s believed the San Jose Sharks, Florida Panthers, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers and Boston Bruins are among the teams interested in Panarin.

According to one team source, the Blue Jackets are not granting teams permission to speak with Panarin’s agent about an extension. It’s unclear, however, if all teams have been informed of this.

Panarin is believed to want in the neighborhood of $9 million to $10 million per season on an eight-year contract extension, a second source close to the situation told TFP, but whether such a deal gets ironed out, eventually, with Columbus or not remains to be seen.

Panarin’s agent, Dan Milstein, declined to comment.

“Out of respect for all parties involved, I would not be making any public statements, confirming or denying stories and or rumors around Artemi and his team,” Milstein told TFP via email.

Trade negotiations are expected to continue throughout the week, and it’s believed the Blue Jackets want a top-six forward as part of a deal for Panarin.

The native of Korkino, Russia, registered 27 goals and 55 assists for 82 points in 81 games with the Blue Jackets last season.