March 19: The Islanders have made the deal with Golyshev official, signing him to a one-year entry-level contract for the 2020-21 season. He can step directly (once through quarantine protocols) into the NHL lineup if the team deems it best.
March 16: The Islanders have been waiting for quite a while to get winger Anatoly Golyshev into their system. However, the wait may soon be over. The KHL announced today (Twitter link) that Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg has terminated their contract with the 26-year-old, making him a free agent while Arthur Staple of The Athletic reports (Twitter link) that New York is expected to sign him shortly.
Golyshev was a fourth-round pick (95th overall) of the Isles back in 2016 as a 21-year-old. At that point, he was coming off of a 25-goal, 44-point campaign in the KHL, making him an intriguing selection. Of course, at that time, he wasn’t planning on leaving for North America but with there being no player transfer agreement between the NHL and Russia’s hockey federation, New York was able to hold his rights indefinitely.
Since being picked, Golyshev has been a top performer with Avtomobilist and is now the franchise leader in career goals (109) and points (220) despite coming off one of his quieter years that saw him post 12 goals and 15 assists in 53 games.
Golyshev is still subject to the entry-level system and will be capped at signing a one-year contract. That shouldn’t be much of a deterrent as the two sides will be able to use this season as that one year, paving the way for a bigger contract just a few months from now if things go well.
In the meantime, Golyshev will be an interesting addition to a New York team that is in the middle of the pack offensively so far this season. There’s a vacancy to fill with Anders Lee on LTIR and while the Islanders obviously won’t be expecting him to step into that big of a role, it certainly wouldn’t be surprising if he gets an NHL opportunity as soon as he gets through the mandatory quarantine period.