The Carolina Hurricanes signed Sergey Tolchinsky in 2013 after his first season in the CHL. An entry-level contract was a small risk to sign a player who showed such impressive skill as a rookie in the OHL, scoring 26 goals and 51 points in 2012-13. He’d follow it up with two 90+ point seasons for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, leading many to believe that even though he was undersized he may have an NHL future.
Well, after three seasons in the AHL and just a handle of NHL appearances, it appears the relationship is over. In today’s article for the Charlotte Checkers’ website, Nicholas Niedzielski reports that Tolchinsky has left the team and returned home to Russia. “He didn’t want to be a part of the team, so we granted his wish,” said head coach Mike Vellucci. Tolchinsky was scheduled to become a restricted free agent this summer, and the Hurricanes will retain his NHL rights by issuing a qualifying offer if they so choose.
- Another player who feels different about his NHL club is Maxim Shalunov, who still expects to join the Chicago Blackhawks at some point down the road. As Scott Powers of The Athletic (subscription required) writes, Shalunov himself has admitted he wants to head to the NHL after his current contract with CSKA Moscow expires. That’s not for another two years, but the Blackhawks don’t mind waiting for the talented winger. Standing 6’4″ 215-lbs, the 25-year old has a big shot and recorded 20 goals in 46 games for CSKA this season. Scoring two more points today at the IIHF World Championships, he could inject some serious offensive power into the Blackhawks lineup whenever he does come over.
- Speaking of success at the Worlds, Minnesota Wild draft pick Kirill Kaprizov continues to show why he’s regarded as one of the top offensive talents outside of the NHL. He scored his tournament-leading (tied with Sebastian Aho) fourth goal today, giving him six points through three games to tie him with Pavel Datsyuk for the lead on Team Russia. After a frosty start to their relationship, Kaprizov and Minnesota seem to be heading towards a contract of some sort down the line—though it still might have to wait a few more years. The 21-year old forward scored 40 points in 46 games for CSKA this season.