Montreal Canadiens Ink Arsen Khisamutdinov to Entry-Level Deal

Arsen Khisamutdinov
YEKATERINBURG, RUSSIA FEBRUARY 18, 2019: Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsks Arsen Khisamutdinov (L) and Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg's Nikita Tryamkin in their 2018/19 KHL Regular Season ice hockey match at the Uralets Arena; Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg won 5-3. Donat Sorokin/TASS (Photo by Donat SorokinTASS via Getty Images)

The Montreal Canadiens signed left-wing prospect Arsen Khisamutdinov to a two-year contract with undisclosed financial terms. This contract carries him through the 2021-22 season.

Arsen Khisamutdinov Signs With the Montreal Canadiens

Khisamutdinov split the 2019-20 campaign between Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk of the KHL and CSK VVS Samara of the VHL, both Russian leagues. Over his past two seasons playing for Nizhnekamsk in the big leagues, he put up three goals and five assists for eight points in 40 games. He was originally drafted in the sixth round, 170th overall of the 2019 NHL draft by the Canadiens.

The two-year contract he signed is an entry-level contract, meaning the maximum average annual value (AAV) on the deal will be $925,000. The maximum total contract value is $1.85 million. The deal starts in the 2020-21 season.

What This Means for the Future

Khisamutdinov was a big question mark for the Habs when he was drafted. He ended up being picked in his last year of draft eligibility at age 21. He’s mostly a prototypical Russian power forward – large size, good shot, good skating. Khisamutdinov clocks in at 6′ 3″ and 203 pounds, so he still has to grow into his frame a little.

Khisamutdinov likely heads straight to Laval in the AHL next season. While he has solid potential for a sixth-round pick, he will need a transitional period to hone his skills and adjust to North American ice. He should be able to gain some traction there, receiving more opportunities than he did in the KHL. While he’s likely never going to be anything more than a depth contributor, he has the skillset to make it at the NHL level.

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