The Edmonton Oilers had been trying to bring back a familiar face, sending a contract offer to KHL forward Anton Slepyshev in recent days. It looks like it wasn’t enough, as Igor Eronko of Sport-Express reports that Slepyshev has signed a two-year extension with CSKA Moscow to remain overseas.
It’s not hard to understand why Slepyshev would want to stay in the KHL. The 25-year old forward recorded just 23 points in 102 NHL games over parts of three seasons while with the Oilers but scored 18 goals and 45 points just this year for CSKA. A third-round pick by Edmonton in 2013 he has finally reached the offensive potential he always flashed, but there’s no guarantee that kind of success would follow him back to North America.
Of course, this two-year deal also has further consequences. Since Slepyshev did sign and play with the Oilers at one point, his exclusive NHL negotiating rights will expire on his 27th birthday. He’ll be turning 26 next month, meaning Edmonton will lose his rights before this new extension is complete. With that in mind, remember Slepyshev’s name in the spring of 2022 when he could be a potential free agent signing for the entire league, should he entertain the idea of coming back to the NHL.