Dan Milstein, the agent for many of the league’s top Russian players including Nikita Kucherov and Artemi Panarin, spoke about some of his lesser known clients recently with Championat, a Russian publication. In the interview, he would not confirm that Igor Ozhiganov will sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs, only that the defenseman will make a decision in the coming days.
Ozhiganov, 25, was visited by Lou Lamoriello and Mike Babcock earlier this season, in much the same process as Nikita Zaitsev the year prior. Many have believed for some time that he is destined to sign with the Maple Leafs, though nothing is certain yet.
- Rinat Valiev, who was reported to be going to the KHL recently, has apparently not made that decision yet. Valiev will listen to offers from the Montreal Canadiens, as Milstein explained he was pleased when he got a chance at the NHL level. The former Maple Leafs prospect played in two games with the Canadiens after being traded midseason, and is a restricted free agent this summer.
- Nikita Soshnikov, another former Maple Leafs player traded this time to the St. Louis Blues in early 2018, is also not committed to heading to Russia just yet. Milstein explained that St. Louis has already offered him a new one-way contract, but Soshnikov is considering heading back. Also a restricted free agent this summer, his rights are owned by SKA St. Petersburg, one of the most powerful teams in the KHL.