One of the Nashville Predators’ top prospects is headed to one of the best teams in Europe. Egor Afanasyev, the Predators’ second-round pick in 2019, has been loaned to CSKA Moscow of the KHL, Nashville announced. The club did not specify whether the loan is for the entire 2020-21 season or merely until NHL training camp begins.
Afanasyev was born in Russia, but this will be his first time playing at a competitive level in his native country. Afanasyev moved to the United States earlier in his life and came up through the USHL before jumping to the OHL this past season. However, this move to the KHL – short or long term – could be a major benefit to Afanasyev’s development. The 6’4″, 200-lb. winger recorded 31 goals and 67 points in 62 games in his first OHL season and looked like he had already outgrown the junior ranks. Playing against older competition, and some of the best outside of North America, in the KHL will only help prepare Afanasyev to make the jump to Nashville sooner rather than later.
CSKA Moscow is not a bad place to start your pro career either. The 2019-20 regular season champs and 2018-19 Gagarin Cup champs are an elite squad. Afanasyev will be joining a roster that is flush with NHL experience and has made an effort to get younger. While he may not get significant ice time, Afansysev will be able to compete for opportunities and to learn from a number of player who know what it takes to break into the NHL.