Following up on previous posts about Kirill Petrov last week and Miks Indrasis from the morning thread, now comes further indication that both players will be in New York Islanders training camp this fall.
Newsday's Arthur Staple tweeted confirmation of both reports, which means the Isles will have two skilled, mid-20s "middle six" forward candidates from the KHL to add to the mix in September. For Indrasis, it still sounds like a training camp invitation:
Also confirmed many reports that Latvian F Miks Indrasis will be at #Isles camp. Indrasis, 24, played last 5 seasons for Dynamo Riga in KHL.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 8, 2015
It's not his first, nor his second NHL camp invitation, so if Indrasis doesn't make the team one wonders if he'll return to Europe rather than take any potential two-way deal dangled in front of him. But given the wobbly finances among many KHL teams this past season, you have to wonder if the NHL -- or even the AHL with a shot at the NHL -- is looking more enticing.
The path for Petrov appears a little more concrete: All indications are the Islanders' 2008 draft pick will sign an entry level contract with the Isles, though Staple reports that can't technically happen until July 1. Still, the latter reports terms have been reached for terminating his KHL contract.
Signing would be a one-year contract in the NHL's entry level system.
The story of Petrov's divorce from Ak-Bars Kazan, his longtime club, is long and requires faith in Google Translate. But the upshot is a 25-year-old with a history of .5 point/game production dropped off this past season, most likely due to usage. If the Islanders gain from this, it will be that a skilled player with good size -- so, don't expect the tighter NHL to diminish his impact -- is reaching his athletic peak just as he's ready to come over to North America.
Why These Are Good Moves
In the theory of "you can never have too much depth," these are two players in their mid-20s who cost little and are worth a look.
Indrasis has come into his own in international competitions for the Latvian national team, and he's put up steadily strong numbers for Latvia's famous KHL entrant, Dinamo Riga. He's listed at 6'3 but under 200 lbs. You may know him on YouTube for having a bit of Rob Schremp in him:
Though he's almost been forgotten, or at least given up on, by Isles fans, I've been a quiet fan of Petrov, based on admittedly limited viewings and scouting reports. Throw out any "would have been a first rounder if not KHL-tied" talk from his draft year. More importantly, like the two Islanders free agents added last summer who hail from the same, er, giant continent/land mass, Petrov has more of a well-rounded game: He's neither a Mikhail Grabovski nor a Nikolay Kulemin, but I wouldn't be shocked if he had a similar "put this guy on the ice and good things happen" subtle impact.
He's played all kinds of special teams, checked opposing teams' top lines, and put up steady if not flashy production.
As always, and for both of these guys now in their mid-20s, it's worth a shot.