According to a report from Sportsnet analyst and NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, don’t be surprised if there’s another signing frenzy for Russian talent this upcoming offseason.
While Vadim Shipachyov turned out to be a flop for the Vegas Golden Knights, Evgeny Dadonov has proven to be a solid addition to the Florida Panthers lineup. And, of course, who there’s the Artemi Panarin and Nikita Zaitsev examples with the Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs. So, who’s up this summer?
First, Friedman reports that 27-year-old defenseman Igor Ozhiganov is a lock for the Leafs. More interesting though are the cases of defenseman Bogdan Kiselevich and forward Vladimir Tkachev.
Kiselevich is a 27-year-old defenseman with CSKA Moscow who has managed seven assists in 25 games so far this season. The 6’0”, 207 lb blue liner was never drafted into the NHL, but he plays a steady shut down game for his KHL club.
As for Tkachev, he briefly flirted with the NHL, signing a contract with the Edmonton Oilers in 2014 that was annulled by the league due to a player transfer violation. Since then he’s done very well for himself in the KHL, putting up nine goals and 22 points in 26 games.
The real question is, as is usually the case with established KHLers who migrate to the NHL, where’s the best fit?