Canucks winger Nikolay Goldobin had an up-and-down season. While he spent a fair amount of time on the top line, he was also a frequent healthy scratch. Accordingly, some have wondered if he’d opt to re-sign with Vancouver or look to go back overseas. The latter certainly appears to be an option as Sport-Express’ Igor Eronko reports (Twitter link) that CSKA Moscow of the KHL has interest in Goldobin, even suggesting that a deal with them is likely.
The 23-year-old has shown promise over his career but overall, he has yet to live up to his first-round draft billing after he was picked 27th overall by San Jose back in 2014. He spent a couple of years in their farm system before the Sharks gave up on him, dealing him to the Canucks for Jannik Hansen back in 2017 who played in the KHL this past season (coincidentally with CSKA Moscow and he is not expected to return for 2019-20).
Goldobin received a lot longer of a look with Vancouver as he played in 38 games in 2017-18 after being acquired plus 63 contests in 2018-19. However, head coach Travis Green has been critical of his all-around game, something that he will need to improve on considerably if he wants to lock down a full-time spot in the NHL, whether that’s for next season or further down the road.
If Goldobin does indeed go to the KHL, Vancouver will retain his rights assuming they tender him a qualifying offer (a likely occurrence no matter what). He still has four years of team control remaining through the 2022-23 season so it’s certainly possible that a good showing back home could get him back with the Canucks before he’s eligible for unrestricted free agency.