The Winnipeg Jets sixth round draft pick in 2016, goalie Mikhail Berdin, has decided to move to North America, as reported by Russian news agency rsport.ru during a short talk with Severstal Cherepovets’ general manager Evgeni Mikhalkevich.
Mikhail expressed to us his intention to pursue a career in North America. We decided to accept his request.
This is definitely an important move for the Ufa, Russia, native. With foreign-trained goalies now banned from getting drafted in the CHL, leagues like the USHL and the NAHL are becoming increasingly important for European goalies who decide to move to North America seeking greater opportunity. Another young Russian goalie, 1999-born Maxim Zhukov, will also play in the USHL, for the Green Bay Gamblers. Another top-end Russian talent in the USHL will be 2000-born Andrei Svechnikov, who signed with the Muskegon Lumberjacks.
Playing in North America, Berdin will have more chances to showcase his talent in front of the Jets’ scouts (as well as any other team interested in his services).
It will be interesting to see if the goalie will line up for the Jets at the 2016 Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, British Columbia. Berdin played his whole career in Russia and spent the 2015-16 season with the Team Russia U18 project in the MHL.