Former NHLer Nik Antropov is currently participating in the much-talked-about BioSteel training camp in Toronto. The 35-year-old forward, talking with the Toronto Sun’s Lance Hornby, said that he is looking into the possibility of a return to the NHL this season.
Antropov has been out of the NHL for two years, leaving for a contract in the KHL playing for Barys Astana. He scored seven goals and 14 assists through 39 games for Barys Astana last season.
Does the 6-foot-6 winger still have what it takes to play in the league at his age? Antropov told Hornby, “I have a year or two in me for sure.”
We’re talking to a couple of teams, who I won’t name. My experience is huge. I know the game has gotten a lot faster, which is why I’m at this camp. We’ll see where I end up. … If anything comes up, I’ll be grateful. If not, I’ll have to think about what’s going on.
He is one among many veteran players who are looking at the results of a cap-strapped league, with the cap going up less than expected. Veterans like Matt Cullen and Jarret Stoll are getting signed at a steep discount, other veterans like Martin Havlat and possibly Christian Ehrhoff are hoping to get a camp tryout.
It’s not clear if the interest Antropov is showing in the NHL is being reciprocated, but when he left two years ago he was still a useful player, scoring 15 goals and 20 assists through 69 games for the Winnipeg Jets. Talking about if he regrets jumping over to the KHL, he told Hornby, “It was a good time, a good team and I don’t have regrets that I left.”
In his NHL career he played 788 games with 193 goals and 272 assists.