News broke on Tuesday that Philadelphia Flyers centreman Mikhail Vorobyev has signed with the Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the KHL. The contract is reported to be a three-year deal, with one publication even reporting his salary at roughly $562k.
After failing to stand out in North America, Mikhail Vorobyev is reportedly headed back to Russia. https://t.co/kv7WqjcOFQ
— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) June 26, 2020
Mikhail Vorobyev Inks KHL Deal
Vorobyev started his fight to land a solid NHL role this season. Over the course of the year, the 23-year-old bounced between the NHL and AHL. In total, he was called up from, and then subsequently sent back to, the AHL three times this year. Still, he managed to appear in 20 NHL games, scoring only three points while serving in a minimal role. He netted 28 points in 46 AHL games.
While some Flyers fans remain high on Vorobyev, his path to the NHL isn’t clear-cut. With the 2020-21 AHL season in limbo, Vorobyev has opted to return to his hometown of Ufa, Russia, to play for the local KHL team. This will be his second stint with the team, having played for them from 2015 to 2017 as well. In total, then, Vorobyev scored 14 points in 72 KHL games. In the MHL, Russia’s Junior Hockey League, Vorobyev also played for Ufa’s local team.
Vorobyev’s return to the KHL is one that many expect plenty of other fringe players to make. With the NHL and AHL’s futures not clear after the Covid-19 outbreak, many expect these players to take the sure-fire route to Russia where they can be guaranteed ice time.
This sentiment similarly backs Edmonton Oilers center Markus Granlund, who is rumoured to be working on a KHL deal of his own. Granlund was similarly bounced between leagues this season, not able to solidify an NHL role. While the exact details of Granlund’s move to Russia have yet to be solidified, there’s much chatter surrounding the transfer. Granlund scored four points in 34 NHL games and 15 points in 20 AHL games this season.