According to the team’s official Twitter account, the Oilers have placed Ziyat Paigin on unconditional waivers. This means the team is ultimately seeking to give the prospect an unconditional release from his contract.
Paigin was drafted by the Oilers with a seventh-round pick in the 2015 draft. He spent his entire career in Russia before joining the Bakersfield Condors for a five-game stint at the end of the 2016-17 season. He started this season in Bakersfield and played in only seven games without recording a point. Paigin was in the first year of his two-year, entry-level deal.
One would assume Paigin wasn’t interested in riding the bus in the AHL and wants to return to the KHL to make a better salary. The Oilers also have a pretty massive logjam of defencemen ahead of him on the depth chart, as Paigin is a left handed shot. Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear, Dillon Simpson, and Ryan Mantha are all clearly ahead of Paigin on the depth chart at this point.
This is obviously disappointing news because there was some hype around Paigin when he joined the Condors this year. In September, David Staples ranked him as Edmonton’s No. 3 prospect and suggested he wasn’t far from the NHL.
“I’m planning to spend here the next couple of years,” Paigin said. “I need to do a step forward in my development, and I need to step up on a new level… I studied the (Edmonton) team’s roster, watched their games, and I think that I have a chance to play in the NHL.
“But it’s up to me. AHL coaches are very helpful, but no one else is going to make things easier for me… I have a goal and I’ll do what it takes to fulfill it… This year will ‘eat’ one season from the rookie contract, so I’ll have another two. It makes no sense to view things in such a long term.”
Well, so much for that.
Of course, I don’t mean to be so flippant. Playing in a new country is an extremely difficult endeavour for an individual in their early 20s, especially when there’s a greater possibility for making money back home.
This is much like a Toni Rajala or Bogdan Yakimov exit, in that the Oilers retain the player’s rights, but it’s unlikely we hear from Paigin again.
Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Twitter Account, 11/22/2017, 10:05am MST