While the NHL has assured fans that the 2020-21 season will not be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and a number of international players and college prospects have signed contracts for next season based on that premise, KHL goaltender Timur Bilyalov is not feeling as comfortable with the league’s unknown future. Despite garnering interest from NHL teams, Bilyalov has opted to re-sign with Ak Bars Kazan on a one-year deal, citing doubts as to when the new NHL league year will begin. However, the 25-year-old specifically noted that he has not ruled out pursuing an NHL career in the future. Bilyalov was one the best goalies in the KHL this season, recording a .943 save percentage and 1.45 goals-against average in the regular season and even better numbers in an undefeated playoff run prior to the KHL’s cancellation of the season. Interest will undoubtedly renew this time next year if his top performance continues.
- Former NHLer Dmitrij Jaskin also appears poised to re-sign in the KHL. RIA News in Moscow reports that Dynamo Moscow has come to terms on an extension for their star forward. Jaskin recorded 31 goals and 63 points in a dominant first season in the KHL. The power forward made the jump last off-season after failing to find a job in the NHL. He had played the previous six seasons with the St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals, totaling 27 goals and 69 points in 303 games, a mark he nearly topped in just one season back in Russia. Despite his impressive production this combined with previous experience in the league, Jaskin appears content to continue starring for Dynamo rather than seeking out another NHL opportunity.
- The college transfer market is mostly used to make depth additions, but occasionally a program can find a diamond in the rough. Michigan State may have a good one on their hands in forward Charlie Combs. Combs announced that he will leave Bemidji State and join the Spartans for his senior season. The former BCHL standout had a slightly down 2019-20 campaign, but was one of the Beavers’ best players a season ago. He has compiled 60 points in three collegiate seasons and was on his way to an NCAA Tournament appearance this season with Bemidji State prior to the cancellation of the postseason. He will look to make the most of his final college season with a Michigan State team that was competitive in the Big Ten Conference this year.