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Tag: KHL

Don’t Get Too Excited About Stephane Da Costa

Since the signing of Vadim Shipachyov the Golden Knights have been rumored for just about every international player considering coming over to the NHL. The new name everyone is all excited about is Stephane Da Costa. Some of you might remember Da Costa from the sporadic 47 games he played with Ottawa over four seasons. Pathetically, I’ll admit I only remember the 27-year-old by the violent hit he took from Dion Cuthbert-Phaneuf.

The native Parisian and former Merrimack college standout signed as an undrafted free agent in March of 2011. Da Costa made his NHL debut a couple weeks later. However, he never found success with the Senators, which is why he eventually landed in the KHL. During his time in Ottawa, several red flags were revealed. One in particular that put him in the Ottawa doghouse.

He couldn’t even play in the league two years ago… he wasn’t strong enough. He wasn’t fit enough. His game wasn’t competitive enough to play in the league. –Paul MacLean, Senators Head Coach 10/01/13

From past reports, Da Costa’s reputation took a hit. He skipped rookie camp and showed up out of shape in 2011. Not a great sign for an undrafted free agent. Ottawa definitely believed in Da Costa’s potential but ultimately became frustrated and moved on.

Factors that can’t be overlooked are his determination to improve his weaknesses and his willingness to commit to the journey that landed him an NHL opportunity. –Hockeysfuture.com

The Golden Knights need to sign players, but also have to be creative in doing so. Shipachyov was a great example of that. He was a player that’s never played in the NHL, has been thriving in the KHL for years now, and the upside is through the roof. The Golden Knights jumped on him first and now, his age, skill and value will ultimately help the new franchise. Da Costa on the other hand, may be trending upwards in the World Championships but he’s projected to become just a role player on the Vegas roster.

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Evgeni Dadonov Rumor Roundup

The moment the Golden Knights inked Vadim Shipachyov to a contract, the rumor mill began firing linking Shippy’s linemate for both SKA St. Petersburg and Team Russia, Evgeni Dadonov, to Vegas.

It all started way back in early February when SportsNet’s rockstar first mentioned the pair’s names together.

Hearing there is more than the usual amount of scouting going on with KHL players. That league is considering going with fewer teams next season, so NHL clubs are readying for the possibility of some extra players being available. Just like last year, the bigger names are St. Petersburg’s Evgeny Dadonov (56 points in 48 games) and Vadim Shipachev (68 points in 45 games), but it will cost millions to bring them over. –Elliotte Friedman on 2/1/17

Shipachyov and Dadonov’s names appeared next to each other across most publications over the last few months.

Then once Shippy signed on off Vegas, the Golden Knights instantly became the front runner to sign Dadonov as well.

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A Look At The Best Available KHL Free Agents

Over the past few years Kontinental Hockey League free agents have become effective for clubs like Chicago, Montreal and Toronto. Think of names like Alexander Radulov, Artemi Panarin, or Nikita Zaitsev. The KHL is a very deep league with budding talent waiting to hit North America. For the players looking for contracts, the questions will be about money, ice time and team direction. Players like Radulov made great money back in Russia, but he wanted to be in the league with the world’s best. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few KHL free agents that are looking to make the jump this offseason.

Vadim Shipachyov

The 29-year-old center toyed around with the NHL last offseason but ended up signing an extension with his team SKA Saint Petersburg. Shipachyov posted a monster regular season with 26 goals and 76 points in 50 games. SKA benefited most as they ended the season with only 8 regulation losses. Shipachyov plays on a team full of NHL stars and veterans, which include Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk and Slava Voynov. NHL teams showed interest last year but the Russian decided to stay home. This summer it’ll be tough to turn down the multiple offerings he’ll get from North America teams. Hockey analyst Rob Vollman came up with a hockey league conversion rating for the world’s different leagues. One KHL point converts to .80 NHL points. Using that equation Shipachyov is a potential 70 point NHL player. That’s one attractive free agent. The only thing that’ll keep him out of Las Vegas is the multiple contracts he’ll have offered. If teams believe he can produce like Radulov, expect Shipachyov to be looking for $5-6 million a year. Might be a bit rich for the Golden Knights in a year in which they aren’t expected to do much.

Vladimir Tkachev

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