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New York Islanders agree to terms with Anatolii Golyshev of Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg

The 2016 4th-round pick is headed to North America.

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2020/2021 Kontinental Hockey League: Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg vs Traktor Chelyabinsk
(I liked earlier, we have lots of Golyshev images.)
Photo by Donat Sorokin\TASS via Getty Images

The New York Islanders have announced an agreement for this season with Anatolii Golyshev, the 26-year-old who recently completed his KHL season (and terminated his contract) with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg.

It’s a one-year, two-way deal for the 2020-21 season, which will burn his ELC and should get him to RFA status in the offseason. An agreement had been expected this winter, and the heat turned up with the news of his termination, which was a necessity for him to enter into a deal with the Islanders. When Lou Larmoiello actually publicly acknowledged the possibility to media early this week, you knew it was happening.

Golyshev is an experienced winger in the KHL, with some scoring punch and general all-around skills. Though he’s only 5’8”, he carries his 187 lbs. well and that versatility could fit well in the Lamoriello-Trotz blueprint.

Arthur Staple of The Athletic spoke with one of his KHL coaches, longtime NHL assistant Perry Pearn, who said Golyshev “plays big” and can be used up and down the lineup — from next to Pavel Datsyuk on down. Pearn also compared him to former Senator Andreas Dackell, a versatile “defensive conscience” forward of yore on the Yashin-era Sens.

A native of Perm, Russia, Golyshev had 208 points (103 goals, 105 assists) in 366 career games over parts of eight seasons in the KHL. He hasn’t played in the Olympics, but won a silver medal at the 2015 Under-20 World Junior Championships in Toronto.

Golyshev has many steps (and Covid tests) to go before he might be used in an Isles (or Bridgeport) lineup. But with Anders Lee out for the season, the ever-present Covid threat, and any other injuries still to come, this is an intriguing signing with a chance of playing a role sometime this season.