The ink didn’t even have time to dry on the entry level contract that Vladimir Tkachev had signed with the Edmonton Oilers before it was tossed out by the National Hockey League. The undrafted, undersized winger, who did nothing but turn heads at Oilers training camp, cannot sign with Edmonton or, for that matter, any NHL team, because he did not play a full season in North America. The 141-pound winger will be tossed back into the draft pool in June. “We felt he was eligible because he had played games last season in North America, but in talking to the NHL, the wording is clear that he had to have played a full season,” said Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish. “We missed it. At no point was Tkachev eligible.” The Russian prospect, who turns 19 on Sunday, had played two games with Omsk in the Kontintenal Hockey League while he waited for his IIHF release then headed to Moncton to play with the Wildcats in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He played his first game on Jan. 21 then another 19 to close out the regular season. The Oilers had offered him an amateur tryout contract following the NHL draft and, with it, an invitation to play at the annual rookie tournament in Penticton, B.C. Tkachev parlayed that into a trip to the main camp after which he went out and earned a chance to play in three pre-season games. “He was certainly deserving of the contract,” said MacTavish, who said they were operating under the premise that he had full CHL rights.
'We missed it': Edmonton Oilers GM admits NHL team botched contract with Vladimir Tkachev
Edmonton Journal | Oct 1