Teams around the NHL are always looking for an opportunity to add talent through means other than the draft, especially those that consistently pick in the back half of the round. In that way the KHL has always been a mysterious proving ground, where some players that find great success then can’t translate it to North America.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been very active in Russia over the last few years, with Ilya Mikheyev being their latest find. The 25-year old rookie has 11 points through his first 16 games and looks like he could have a long career in the NHL. Getting an asset like Mikheyev that costs nothing but time and money is obviously a strategy for success and more teams are following suit by scouting the KHL. It was recently reported that the Ottawa Senators now have a presence there, and today Darren Dreger of TSN spoke about the top names drawing interest overseas: