Anton Slepyshev is a talented scoring-winger in the KHL and an Oilers’ draft pick from 2013. We’ve tracked him for the last two seasons and he blossomed after Christmas this past season. There are reports he may come over and there is a report he has signed with UFA in the KHL. Seems to be a disconnect somewhere.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal is probably the most trusted name in the city among newspaper men and his report earlier tonight about the Russian winger is encouraging.
Matheson: You can expect the Oilers to soon sign their 2013 third-round
left-winger Anton Slepyshev (6’2, 187 pounds), who had 25 points in 58
games for Salavat Ufa in the KHL this past winter. He could play in the
AHL with fellow Russian Bogdan Yakimov, who was in Edmonton last week to
get his injured knee looked at by Oilers medical staff. Source
Pretty straightforward, no guarantee but it would certainly appear mutual interest exists and—all things being equal—we should expect to see the young man signed and in training camp this fall.
Anton Slepyshev 88th overall in ’13 is at Russian camp for Worlds. Decent season in KHL, reasonable chance he comes over next season.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) April 13, 2015
Ryan Rishaug is (as with Matheson) an extremely credible source. His wording is similar to Matheson, perhaps a little less certain but in the range.
HOW IS YOUR RUSSIAN?
Mine is terrible but the internet is a very interesting thing.
— EP Transfers (@ep_transfers) April 13, 2015
The article is in Russian and google translate gives us a hilarious view of the story:
“Salavat Yulaev” extended the contract with striker Anton Slepysheva and Stepan Khripunova two years. Both players bilateral contracts. 20-year-old Slepyshev this season had 63 games of “Salavat” and scored 27 (15 + 12) points. 19-year-old Hripunov while not involved in the KHL matches. In MHL he spent 59 games in the “Tolpar”, scored 23 goals and made 48 assists. Source
My thanks to Patrick C (Chunklets Hockey) for the translate, and for passing it along.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Ryan Rishaug and Jim Matheson have the story, that’s absolutely someone’s understanding of the situation. This contract could be any number of things, including:
- A negotiating tactic by the player and his agent, signing a contract with a trap door if they receive a suitable offer inside a specific window
- A change of heart by the player, who had been negotiating but instead decided to stay.
- An erroneous report.
One of Slepyshev’s teammates this season in Ufa—Teemu Hartikainen—was once an Oilers farmhand and there’s a chance he will be a teammate in Ufa again this coming season (depending on Harski’s return and the veracity of today’s report from Russia). Slepyshev’s talent suggest he would certainly be a strong candidate for NHL time during an entry level deal, although a long shot for the opening night roster in 2015-16. We wait.