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Ivan Demidov: the process changes to bring him quickly to Montreal
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It’s been ten days since the Canadiens drafted Ivan Demidov fifth overall. Since then, fans have been dreaming of the day when he will play on the Habs’ top-6.

Because, clearly, Demidov wasn’t drafted to be a good power-player.

That said, considering the fact that he’s still under contract for one year in Russia, we suspect that won’t happen as soon as 2024-25. At best, he might play a few games at the end of the season if he finishes his campaign early in Russia, but nothing more…

Except that.

Earlier today, there were major changes in Russia, as the KHL disassociated itself from the IIHF and came under the control of the Russian Hockey Federation. We’re talking about changes that primarily affect those entering the KHL… but also those who are already there.

In an article for MontrealHockeyNow, Marc Dumont explains that, in practical terms, this offers a little more freedom to players who want to make the jump to the NHL. In fact, what we seem to understand is that an NHL team and a KHL team can negotiate directly about a player, and if there’s an agreement (which may or may not include financial compensation), the player can be transferred.

Theoretically, this would mean that the Habs could negotiate with SKA to bring Demidov to America right now.

In reality, bringing Demidov to America as early as 2024-25 wouldn’t be a bad thing… but it’s not necessarily essential either. If he plays in the KHL next year, Demidov will be able to play in a league where the caliber isn’t bad and where he can perfect his development.

But if SKA starts cutting into his playing time, for example, the idea of negotiating to bring the youngster to America will become more interesting.

It’s worth noting that Bogdan Konyushkov and Yevgeni Volokhin, two other Habs prospects who play in Russia, are affected in the same way as Demidov by today’s changes.

I don’t expect to see any of the three players land in America sooner than expected… but we’ll see if today’s announcements have any impact.


– Owen Beck had good words for Adam Nicholas.

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