It is safe to say that the Ilya Mikheyev experiment has been well received so far. Much more debatable is that the Leafs had some modest success with Nikita Zaitsev initially, Soshnikov showed some promise, and that Igor Ozhiganov, was well, Igor Ozhiganov was an admirable attempt.
What is safer to say is that the Leafs have had success with appealing to Russian players that coming over to play for the Leafs is in their interest. That will probably be made easier by the fact that Mikheyev will likely become a fixture on the Leafs for the future and that Egor Korshkov has some potential to join the club as well in the near future.
With all that in mind, it’s time to shift our eyes to a new Russian, Alexander Barabanov.
From Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts:
“A name to learn: Alexander Barabanov. The Russian left-shot winger will be 26 in June, and word is a few NHL executives will be going to see him in person. His 46 points in 58 games for St. Petersburg were 18th in the KHL last season. He’s at three points in the first 12 games this year, but his ice time is down from 15:26 to 13:19. …
Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation