10AM: Chris Botta provides this update via Twitter:
Just got off the phone with the agent for #Isles prospect Kirill Petrov. The #Isles very much want Petrov to come to North America this season, but he is leaning towards signing for another one or two years in the KHL. He has strong offers for both in KHL. His mother remains very ill and he wants to be able to stay close to her. Petrov is also a bit scared off by the uncertainty of negotiations this summer for a new CBA for the NHL. As of now, looks like he’s staying in KHL. Decision soon.
9AM: According to Dmitry Chesnokov who is plugged into Russian hockey, Petrov has re-signed with his team in the KHL. Terms of the deal are unknown at this time.
After a brief hiatus I’m back, recharged and ready to go for the rest of the off-season. Let’s take a look at one of the important stories that was missed over the last few days…
The Islanders 2008 draft is hotly debated for the drafting of Josh Bailey in the first round but as the years have passed there’s really a multitude of other important storylines going on. In that draft, the Islanders accumulated picks (in part by moving back to draft Bailey) and ended up making an absurd 13 picks over six rounds. So far, nine of those players have played in the NHL. That list includes eight current Islanders and Sound Tigers: Bailey, Aaron Ness, Travis Hamonic, Matt Donovan, David Ullstrom, Kevin Poulin, Matt Martin and Justin DiBenedetto.
So far Hamonic has been the only “game breaking” talent per se, but obviously many of those players play or will soon play important roles on the team. It goes to show exactly what good drafting in later rounds can do for the organizational talent pool.
The ninth player to make it to the NHL out of that class is Jared Spurgeon who made it in Minnesota after getting let go by the Isles. When you see that he was competing with Hamonic, Ness and Donovan (the latter two being very similar in style of play to Spurgeon) it’s not hard to see that there simply may not have been room for all four defenders.
There are four players who have yet to make the NHL: Corey Trivino (pending legal troubles), Jyri Niemi (in the NYR system and demoted to the ECHL), David Toews (traded to CHI and also in the ECHL) and Kirill Petrov. The first three may never get there, with two currently treading water in the low level ECHL. But the fourth is the question mark and could someday be the 10th player from the draft class to make it to the big time. Kirill Petrov, if you’re not familiar, was taken as the third of three third round picks as a longshot to make the NHL. Petrov had the talent to go earlier but was locked into a four-year deal with his team in the KHL. On Monday, that contract finally expired.
There has been no word as to what the next move is for the 22-year old Russian. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on what goes on halfway across the globe or give you any wishy washy ‘he could, and he also could not’ statement but a 6-3 Russian power forward is certainly music to this organization’s ears. With the other Russian Kirill (Kabanov) likely to get a long look for a roster spot on the Island and start the year in Bridgeport, maybe there’s some extra motivation for Petrov to come to the US. Two years ago Petrov gave an interview with this blog via Kabanov stating his intent in playing for the Islanders or the Sound Tigers after the contract ran its course. Two years later, has that changed?