Admiral Vladivostok of the KHL have traded Chicago Blackhawks prospect Ivan Nalimov to HC Sibir Novosibirsk in exchange for money compensation on Sunday.
Nalimov, 22, signed a two-year contract extension with Admiral in March, but hadn’t produced as much as the Sailors had hoped. He has a 2.87 goals-against average and .902 save percentage in 13 games this season.
The Hawks drafted Nalimov with the No. 179 overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. He’s spent every season since then with Admiral. Despite being unsigned within two years after being drafted at the age of 20, Chicago has retained his rights. In 2013, the NHL signed player transfer agreements with nearly every prominent hockey federation in Europe that outlined rules for how the league would handle things like draft rights. However, the KHL has refused to sign that agreement and instead has a different one with the NHL that has a different set of rules.
As a result, the draft rights of Nalimov -- like other Russians playing in the KHL -- won't elapse as long as he continues playing there and there are no changes in the relationship between the NHL and KHL. It's a complicated situation, to be sure, and one that could change in the future. For now, however, Nalimov remains Chicago's property if he ever wants to make the NHL leap (although it's unclear if he'll ever be good enough for that).
Nalimov will join fellow Hawks prospect Maxim Shalunov in Sibir. Last season, at age 22, Shalunov made his full-time debut in the KHL and recorded 30 points in 59 games. This season, he’s already scored 17 goals and 32 points in 32 games. The Hawks drafted Shalunov in the fourth round in 2011, and are hoping to sign him this offseason.