Another former NHL player is headed to the KHL as John Gilmour has signed a contract with CSKA Moscow for the rest of the season. Gilmour became an unrestricted free agent after his one-year deal with the Buffalo Sabres expired this summer and will be forced to take his talents overseas for the time being.
Now 27, Gilmour was originally a seventh-round pick of the Calgary Flames in 2013 but never did sign with that organization. Instead, he inked an entry-level deal with the New York Rangers in 2016 after a four-year career at Providence College which included a National Championship. The smooth-skating defenseman made 33 appearances with the Rangers over two seasons but spent most of his time in the minor leagues.
In 2019, after becoming a Group VI unrestricted free agent, he decided to move on from the Rangers and signed a one-year deal with Buffalo. That resulted in another four NHL games, but his time was once again spent mostly in the AHL, this time with the Rochester Americans.
Through 227 AHL games, Gilmour has recorded 38 goals and 118 points including an impressive 20-goal campaign in 2018-19 that earned him an AHL First All-Star Team nomination. In Russia, he’ll bring that same offensive ability and could be an effective weapon for CSKA. Whether he ever returns to the NHL is unclear, but with so few opportunities in this shortened season, perhaps this was the only chance he really had to play meaningful minutes at a high level.