The Toronto Maple Leafs have had success with defencemen acquired through the international route, most notably Nikita Zaitsev, and it looks like they may soon venture down that avenue again.

The club appears to be the front-runner for the services of 25-year-old Russian Igor Ozhiganov.

“He’s going to be recruited by some NHL teams, but the word out of Russia is that he is most likely going to Toronto next year,” Friedman said during Saturday’s Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada.

The six-foot-two, 207-pound defenceman was never drafted to the NHL and is in his third season with CSKA Moscow of the KHL. His contract expires in April.