In the always enlightening 31 Thoughts column by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, he touches on several international players that are on the radar for NHL teams. Starting with goaltender Mikko Koskinen, who he reports recently agreed to a deal with Edmonton, Friedman has also heard—but can’t confirm one way or the other—the $2.5MM/year rumor that has been floating around.
Though nothing has been announced by the team, a deal of that magnitude for the 29-year old goaltender would likely mean the team has plans for him at the NHL level, perhaps as part of a tandem with Cam Talbot next season.
- The Vancouver Canucks could sign Par Lindholm according to Friedman, or at least have the best shot at this point. The 26-year old Swedish center competed at the Olympics this year and was one of the SHL’s most dangerous offensive weapons. With 47 points in 49 games he ranked fourth in league scoring.
- Friedman reports that Yegor Yakovlev is expected to sign with the New Jersey Devils, after another good season with SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL. The 26-year old defenseman played at the Olympics as well, and is heading to the World Championships for Russia.
- Ilya Lyubushkin (24) and Alexander Yelesin (22), two young Russian defensemen are also expected to sign, though Friedman only sources overseas reports that say the former is headed to Arizona. We’ll have to wait to see where exactly they end up.
- Bogdan Kiselevich is also still on NHL radar, with Friedman reporting that “several teams continue to chase” him. Kiselevich, 28, has been playing in the KHL for years and was even selected in the CHL import draft way back in 2008. He was an alternate captain for CSKA Moscow this season, but becomes a free agent in a few days.