The Leafs made a small move today, going overseas to the KHL to pick up a promising young talent in Nikita Soshnikov.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 20, 2015
The Leafs released a statement following the signing.
David Nonis, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Friday that the club has signed free agent forward Nikita Soshnikov to a three-year entry level contract. Soshnikov, 21, skated in 57 games with Moscow Oblast Atlant of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) this season, collecting 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) and 22 penalty minutes. Soshnikov led his team with 14 even strength goals this season. The 5-11, 185-pound forward also ranked second on his team with 139 shots. Soshnikov had the third highest point total (32) among all KHL skaters under the age of 23. In 90 career KHL games, Soshnikov has collected 37 points (16 goals, 21 assists) and 49 penalty minutes.
With his KHL team’s future uncertain it’s better for Soshnikov to secure a spot outside the Russian league. Per reports, Moscow Oblast Atlant might fold after this season just like multiple teams this season due to sponsorship problems that have occured due to Europe’s sanctions towards Russia. If some Leafs fans want to see what he could do for the Marlies, they’ll have to wait until next season.
The #leafs newest signing, Nikita Soshnikov, isn’t eligible to play in the AHL or NHL until next season.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 20, 2015
In terms of potential, at his prime he could develop into a decent third line forward that could chip in and help the Leafs’ depth. With the way its been going, any depth could be beneficial in the long run.