Earlier today, the Philadelphia Flyers announced they had agreed to terms with KHL defenseman Evgeni Medvedev. The soon-to-be 33 year old will get his first taste of North American hockey having spent his entire time in Russia.
The contract is for one-year and reportedly $3 million. Originally a forward, the Chelyabinsk native converted to defense at 21 and is expected to be a top four guy in Philadelphia. Medvedev has spent the last eight years with AK Bars where he’s won two league championships as well as two gold medals having represented his country at the Worlds and Olympics.
In 373 games with Kazan he has scored 37 goals and 128 assists for 165 points. Medvedev will be the first Russian on the Flyers since they bought out Ilya Bryzgalov in 2013 and their first Russian defenseman since the combination of Danny Markov and Vladimir Malakhov in 2004.
With the Flyers signing of Medvedev and the Blackhawks signing Artemi Panarin last month perhaps this could be a mass exodus from the KHL to the NHL. In what would be an ironic turn in events for the league known for poaching players from the US, it would be fitting if more Russians found their way to the NHL come summer.