In Elliotte Friedman’s latest 30 Thoughts column for Sportsnet, he touches on a pair of names from the KHL that may soon be heading across the pond. Alexei Bereglazov and Viktor Antipin are both currently playing for Magnitogorsk Mettalurg but may be heading to the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres respectively at some point in the near future.
Magnitogorsk will play tomorrow night in game four of the Conference semi-finals in the KHL, up 3-0 over Astana Barys in the current series. The team—which includes Alexander Semin—finished first in their division this year with a record of 41-13-6. The two defensemen were a big part of that, ranking second and third in scoring among defenders on the team.
Bereglazov is just 22 and has broken out this year with 19 points in the regular season and six more in seven playoff games. At 6’4″ he has the size to fit into the NHL right away, if someone believes he can adapt quickly enough. Friedman notes that the Rangers should be considered favorites for him this summer.
Antipin is the older of the two at 24 and takes on much more responsibility for Magnitogorsk. Playing well over 20 minutes a night in the playoffs, Antipin has a longer track record of success in the KHL as he debuted in the league at just 19 years old. Standing under six feet tall and around 180-lbs, the Russian defender isn’t as physically imposing as Bereglazov, but contributes offensively at a higher rate. A staple on the powerplay for the past few seasons, he could find a similar niche in the NHL.