It looks as though another Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) star is set to play in the NHL next season. The Florida Panthers have reportedly signed Evgeni Dadonov to a three-year deal worth $12 million (or an AAV of $4 million), according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel.
Hearing Dadonov will get three years in FLA with an AAV of $4M: https://t.co/ym1pzfT079
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2017
Dadonov Scratching to Get Back
The 28-year-old was originally drafted by the Panthers back in 2007 in the third round, 71st overall. He did play 55 games with the Panthers scattered over three seasons. During that short stint, he racked up 10 goals and 20 points.
Following the 2011-12 season, Dadonov made the jump to the KHL where he played one season with the Donbass Donetsk and the last three seasons with SKA St. Petersburg.
He played 311 regular season games in the KHL, collecting 112 goals and 240 points. He added 60 points in 71 postseason games.
This season was easily his best – leading to all the speculation of his return to the NHL. He notched 30 goals for SKA St. Petersburg to go along with 36 assists for 66 points. He added 19 points in 18 postseason games for his KHL club and finished the regular season with a plus-33 rating.
Introducing the New Cat
At $4-million per season, Dadonov would become the eighth highest paid player on the Panthers roster, according to Cap Friendly.
For those who don’t know much about the winger, Dadonov is a small forward with great speed and the ability to finish. While he doesn’t play a physical game – which can hamper his defensive game at times – he is explosive on the offensive end and should contribute without issue to a Panthers offence that lost 30 goals in Jonathan Marchessault (taken by the Vegas Golden Knights in the Expansion Draft).
There was quite a bit of speculation that Dadonov would originally join his KHL teammate – Vadim Shipachyov – with the Golden Knights, but McPhee said at the NHL Combine in Buffalo that talks had died off and they hadn’t heard from the Dadonov camp.
As McKenzie tweeted, Dadonov’s name faded a bit over the offseason, but it seemed to work in favour of the Panthers as Florida was able to come to terms on a new contract with the free agent bringing him back to the NHL and back to Florida.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.