MOSCOW, June 16 (R-Sport) – The New York Islanders have given Kirill Petrov the incentive of a guaranteed place in the roster to ensure he switches to the NHL when his contract in Russia expires a year from now, his agent says.
The 6-foot-3, 218-pound wing was the 73rd overall draft pick by the Islanders in 2008 after being named the top forward of the U18 world championships in Kazan.
So keen is the NHL franchise to secure the 23-year-old's services after his deal is up at two-time champion Ak Bars Kazan, it has vowed not to farm Petrov out to the AHL, the player's agent Alexander Tyzhnykh told R-Sport on Sunday.
"We are in close contact with them and they are expecting Petrov,” Tyzhnykh said of the Islanders. “And they are not just expecting him, but they are ready to guarantee him a place in the roster now.”
Petrov snubbed a move to the Islanders last year and opted to remain in Russia, where he would be likely to earn more than NHL entry-level contracts and guaranteed top-flight hockey.
But Tyzhnykh warned an NHL switch is not inevitable.
“His contract with Ak Bars is valid for one more year and he has to work it out,” said the agent. “We’ll see what will happen afterwards. Petrov is turning into a leader of the Kazan team, so let’s not jump too far ahead.”
Petrov racked up 25 points in 65 KHL appearances this season, earning a call up to the senior national team for the world championships in May where he played all eight games and scored five points.
Petrov has won the Gagarin Cup twice with Ak Bars and was the part of triumphant Russian U18 team at the 2007 world championships.