Photo: Traktor Chelyabinsk forward and Washington Capitals prospect Yevgeni Kuznetsov will be celebrating goals in Russia for one more season before likely moving over to the NHL (courtesy of Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
The sixth KHL season is underway and, as usual, the past summer was very busy on all fronts. There were quite a few bold moves, with of course the biggest of them all being the sensational return to Russia of Ilya Kovalchuk, who signed a 4-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg.
Photo: 2014 prospect and Russian forward Ivan Nikolishin (11) is the son of former NHL forward Andrei Nikolishin (courtesy of Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Russia made a run to the semi-finals at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, but their bid for gold fell short as they were defeated by Canada, 3-1, in a game played earlier today.
Photo: Dallas Stars prospect Valeri Nichushkin was the first Russian player chosen at the 2013 NHL Draft, going 10th overall to the Stars (courtesy of Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
The number of players drafted out of the KHL at the 2013 NHL Draft wasn’t large, but confirmations and surprises were there as always in each NHL Draft. The scarce number of players coming out of the top Russian league is due not only to the infamous “Russian Factor”, but also to the fact that many junior players are now playing in the CHL, something that wasn’t happening as often until recent years.
Photo: Forward Pavel Buchnevich is one of the top Russian players eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Yury Kuzmin/KHL Photo Agency via Getty Images)
As with most years, the 2013 NHL Draft will be populated with numerous talented Russian players, many of whom could possibly drop this year because of the ongoing "Russian Factor".
Photo: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward Sergey Tolchinsky had a productive first season in the OHL (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
Sergei Tolchinsky is one of the series of ’95-born Russian players who crossed the pond last summer to have a better chance of being drafted into the NHL. Some of them didn’t have luck, like Vladimir Ionin, but others managed to win a spot on a team without standing out too much (think about players like Vladimir Bryukvin or Sam Babintsev), while others became impact players. Sergei Tolchinsky belongs to this latter category, with other players like Valentin Zykov and Nikita Zadorov.