UPDATED at 1:00 pm: Petrov is not in the lineup today for the regular season opener for Ak Bars.
9:40 am: While Kirill Petrov’s chances of joining the Islanders organization may appear to be grim because the KHL regular season begins today, hope remains.
“Give this just two or three more days,” a source close to the Islanders’ talented prospect told Point Blank. “There is a possibility that something can be worked out.”
Petrov, an Islanders third round pick in 2008, is under contract to Kazan Ak Bars for two more seasons. In the two years since the Islanders drafted the 6-3 right wing, he has played primarily for Kazan’s B squad – in addition to the Russian national junior team.
A standout at Islanders prospect minicamp this summer, Petrov said he would like to join the Islanders organization immediately. Islanders GM Garth Snow shares Petrov’s wish to see him begin his North American development now, and continues to search for ways to spring his prospect out of the KHL. At Ak Bars training camp over the last three weeks, Petrov has been benched for some preseason games and could be destined for another season with their second-tier club.
Since a third year with the B squad will not enhance Petrov’s development, the Islanders want the forward on Long Island next week. Islanders prospects are playing a pair of rookie games in Boston next week before the official opening of camp on Sept. 17. According to the Islanders’ website, Petrov is on the roster for those rookie games.
“I’m holding out hope that a resolution can be reached for the benefit of Petrov’s future,” said the source. “We should know by the weekend, if not sooner.”
But what about the rule that states, once a European player is on a roster at the start of his league’s regular season, he cannot leave for the NHL ?
“There are a lot of issues with this one,” said the source. “Let’s start out by seeing if we can get him to Islanders training camp. Just give this a few more days.”