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Three years for Bogdan Konyushkov in Russia: the Canadian used?

Over the past few days, the Canadiens have drafted nine new prospects. Among them? Russian defenseman Bogdan Konyushkov, the franchise’s fourth-round draft pick.

At the time, it showed that the Habs weren’t afraid to draft in Russia, and that it was really Matvei Michkov that the club didn’t want. But we knew that, didn’t we?

In reality, the Canadiens drafted two out of nine in Russia. Goaltender Yevgeni Volokhin was also a Canadien selection in the 2023 auction.

He was the third goaltender drafted by the Flanelle.

But back to Bogdan. Back in the fourth round, the Habs added a Russian right-handed defenseman to their roster in what is a gamble. After all, we know there’s uncertainty among Russian players.

The proof? The main interested party has just signed a three-year (two-part) contract with Torpedo in the KHL.

The 20-year-old defenseman won’t be arriving in Montreal until he’s 23. But that’s in an optimal scenario where he develops well and wants to come here eventually.

That’s far from assured. But why? Because, reading between the lines of his club’s press release, it’s stated that he’s an important part of the club and that the fact that he was drafted in the NHL lends credibility to his candidacy.

This begs the question of whether the CH was used by the defenseman’s clan to boost his value to his KHL club. The reasoning here is legitimate.

Obviously, we know that the guy wouldn’t be landed right away, but the circumstances of his draft and the words of the press release show that it’s worth asking the question.

That said, the reverse may also be true.

Why? Because there’s a world in which the CH loves the player (he certainly wouldn’t have been drafted otherwise…), but knew that a three-year contract was in the cards.

Seeing a Russian sign a three-year contract may help ease the mind of fans about Mishkov, whom the CH didn’t draft. That’s another question, but Bogdan’s contract kind of legitimizes Michkov’s non-selection, doesn’t it?

Maybe I’m rambling and it’s just a 20-year-old signing a contract when he wouldn’t have developed in Quebec in the short term anyway (not least because of the surplus of defensemen in town), but hey.

In Brief

– Read on.

– Intriguing.

– Interesting.

– Good thinking.

– What will the Padres do?

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