As announced on the team’s official website, in a somewhat surprising transaction, CSKA Moscow signed American forward J.T. Barnett.
A native of Scottsdale, AZ, Barnett played for four clubs during his WHL career (Vancouver Giants, Kamloops Blazers, Everett Silvertips and Kelowna Rockets), scoring 131 points (57 goals, 74 assists) in 249 games. He then moved on to play in the ECHL, where in 134 games, he scored 52 points (17 goals, 35 assists). Barnett is the son of Mike, former Phoenix Coyotes general manager and now a senior advisor with the New York Rangers.
CSKA GM Sergei Fedorov said the following about the signing:
Barnett was very excited to move on with his career in Russia, and this was a big reason why we signed him. We decided to risk, and it is not a big risk at all, considering that all is up to the player. Playing in our organization he can further grow as a player. He was signed to a two-way deal, therefore we can assign him down to the VHL, so I can’t exclude that J.T. will start his Russian career playing for [CSKA Moscow child team] Zvezda.
CSKA Moscow announced that the contract with Barnett is a one-year deal. It was truly a surprising signing, considering Barnett’s numbers in the ECHL. But Fedorov is not new to extravagant signings with import players, and not all of them paid off. A couple of seasons ago, the popular Russian website sports.ru named him the worst GM in the KHL.
J.T. Barnett Statistics