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Lighthouse Lookback Podcast: Kirill Kabanov

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The enigmatic Russian discuss his time in the Isles organization

Kirill Kabanov will never be featured as an “Islander of the Day.” The Russian forward never reached the NHL despite having first-round talent. Controversy and injuries surrounded Kabanov at every level of his development.

The Islanders took a chance that his talent would outweigh the negativity and selected the forward 65th overall in the 2010 NHL draft. Kabanov was late for physicals at the start of training camp. A week later, he failed to learn his lesson and was bag-skated for being late yet again. Basically, a bag skate is wind sprints on ice. A bag skatevcould come in the form of laps of hard skate around the rink for prolonged periods. Had Kabanov never been late, Josh Ho-Sang may not have been sent home.

Kabanov would play two seasons in the organization, bouncing between the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL.

Following the 2013-14 season, Kabanov was placed on conditional waivers and his final year of his entry-level contract was mutally terminated. Kabanov returned to Europe for a couple of seasons before returning to North America with an attempt to make the New York Rangers. He returned to Europe where he still plays today.

More importantly, I get the answer to the question that everyone wants to know, what was the deal with his draft-day photos?

2010 NHL Draft Portraits Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
2010 NHL Draft Portraits Photo by Harry How/Getty Images