We heard a few days ago that KHL forward Ilya Mikheyev was being pursued by the Vegas Golden Knights, but they’re not the only team trying to get him under contract. Today, Igor Eronko of Sport-Express has heard that the Toronto Maple Leafs are among the final few teams, while Darren Dreger of TSN includes Vegas and the Chicago Blackhawks as well. Dreger notes that a majority of the league has shown interest, and that a decision is expected this weekend.
Mikheyev, 24, is a versatile forward that has played several seasons in the KHL with Avangard Omsk. This year he finished with 23 goals and 45 points, before putting up another 11 in his 13 playoff appearances. The 6’2″ winger is a great skater and plays his off-wing, allowing him to use his speed to drive the net and get shots away in tight. Whether that offense would translate to the NHL is still unclear, but teams are more than willing to take a chance.
He will be limited to a one-year entry-level contract whenever he does sign, likely with some sort of agreement to get a chance at the NHL in 2019-20. Teams courting him may well include a European Assignment Clause, allowing him to return to the KHL if they try to send him to the minor leagues. That is of course unless Mikheyev is committed to the long haul in North America and is willing to work with a development team to maximize his NHL potential.