After reports surfaced last month that the Edmonton Oilers had approved of a plan for Dmitri Samorukov to seek out a contract in the KHL, the team has officially loaned him to CSKA Moscow for the 2020-21 season. Samorukov will play for the Russian powerhouse and try to continue his development before the Oilers make a decision on future seasons. Mark Spector of Sportsnet reports that Edmonton GM “fully expects” the prospect back in North America “if he is deemed ready.”
Samorukov, 21, had a very up-and-down start to his professional career, recording 10 points in 47 games for the Bakersfield Condors. Last month when the talk of heading to the KHL came up, his agent Pat Morris explained why they were going down that route:
He wants to play. He doesn’t want to lay dormant for 8-10 months in this current situation. And he, unlike some other players, has this option. We’re exploring it long and hard.
For players that won’t be included in the upcoming playoff tournament, there could be a very long layoff before they see game action again. For a 21-year old prospect trying to make a name for himself, that development time is crucial.
The 6’3″ defenseman was the 84th overall pick in the 2017 draft and had an outstanding 2018-19 season with the Guelph Storm, showing his offensive upside. That upside didn’t get a chance to shine for Bakersfield, but it may for CSKA who are always among the top teams in the KHL.
Samorukov’s entry-level contract is scheduled to expire after the 2021-22 season.