According to a report from TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Toronto Maple Leafs are pursuing KHL center Sergei Andronov.
The 29 year old was originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the third round (78th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, but has spent the majority of his career in the KHL. In 38 games with CSKA Moscow, Andronov has seven goals and 11 points.
At 6 foot, 2 inch, 200 pounds, Andronov plays a prototypical grinding centremen game, something that Leafs are missing, depending on how you feel about former first round pick Frederik Gauthier.
Dreger’s Sportsnet counterpart Elliotte Friedman also reported today that the Leafs are scouting 22 year old defenceman Alexander Yelesin.
Check it out this report from Friedman's latest 31 Thoughts column for Sportsnet:
Toronto has also dipped into the Russian free-agent market with Igor Ozhiganov and Nikita Zaitsev, and there are two potential contenders from that game. The first is 29-year-old left-winger Sergei Andronov, who was selected by St. Louis in 2009 when current Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen was running their drafts. He spent two seasons in the AHL before returning home. The other is 22-year-old defenceman Alexander Yelesin. There is definitely interest in him.
The Leafs, of course, have nabbed two KHLers in free agency in recent years, inking defensemen Nikita Zaitsev and Igor Ozhiganov. The team also inked Swedish league forward Par Lindholm with a similar strategy, as well. Could Andronov and Yelesin be the latest European imports?