Aaron Portzline, Puck Rakers, is reporting that Columbus Blue Jackets 2008 1st round draft pick Nikita Filatov could be headed back to Russia as soon as this week. Although no one within the Blue Jackets organization would comment on this situation, it’s become obvious that Filatov hasn’t been enthused with the playing time he is getting. He’s averaged just 8 minutes 6 seconds of ice time this season while being a healthy scratch seemingly every other game. Portzline is saying that the “handling of Filatov, a highly-skilled, but small winger, has become a contentious issue between Hitchcock and Howson, the man who drafted him.”
We’ll have more on this as the story develops.
- UPDATE Tuesday 11/17/09 @2pm
It’s now official, as the Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that Nikita Filatov has been loaned for the remainder of the 2009-2010 season to CSKA Moscow, of the Continental Hockey League (KHL). From the Blue Jackets, “Nikita is a top prospect in our organization and we believe it is in the best interest of his development to play more and in all situations in the KHL,” said CBJ GM Scott Howson. “We have agreed to his request to be assigned to CSKA and this should afford him the opportunity to continue to work and develop his game in his hometown of Moscow.” Howson seems to be emphasizing that this is not the end, but a delay in his development. After all, he’s only 19 years old and he’ll see more ice-time in the KHL at this point of his career.