The Gagarin Cup Western Conference finals came to an end today when CSKA Moscow defeated SKA St. Petersburg. With that news comes plenty of speculation surrounding the players on SKA whose draft rights belong to NHL teams, including star forward Nikita Gusev. While Gusev may get many of the headlines over the coming days, another forward will be offered an NHL contract soon enough as Los Angeles Kings GM Rob Blake confirmed to Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider. The Kings will offer Nikolai Prokhorkin a one-year, entry-level contract to try and get him to join their organization.
Prokhorkin, 25, won’t see his current contract with SKA expire until April 30, but could find a place in the Kings organization next season. He does have a familiar face to help his transition to North America as former teammate on SKA and the Russian Olympic team Ilya Kovalchuk is already in Los Angeles. With Kovalchuk gone Prokhorkin actually took up a bigger scoring role on the team this season, recording 41 points in 41 games.
Originally drafted by the Kings in the fourth round in 2012, Prokhorkin actually signed with the team and played eight games with the Manchester Monarchs in 2012. The Kings alleged that the young Russian forward’s contract in the KHL was invalid, but the NHL ruled against them and voided his entry-level deal. He hasn’t returned since, but could get an opportunity for a fresh start with the new management group in Los Angeles.