The Blackhawks came up short in the Ilya Mikheyev sweepstakes as the 24-year-old Russian winger signed with the Maple Leafs on Monday. The Golden Knights were the other finalist, but Toronto appeared to be the favorite all along.
Mikheyev scored 23 goals and 45 points in 62 KHL games in his fifth season with Avangard Omsk. The 6-foot-2, 194-pounder added four goals and 11 points in 13 playoff games as Avangard was swept by CSKA Moscow and Blackhawks prospect Max Shalunov in the Gagarin Cup Final.
Mikheyev also scored three goals and four points in eight games for Russia at last year’s World Championship where he was teammates with Shalunov and Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov. Mikheyev was also teammates with Blackhawks goalie prospect Ivan Nalimov, former prospect Ville Pokka, former defenseman Cody Franson and forwards Viktor Stalberg and Kris Versteeg with Avangard.
Those connections to the Blackhawks weren’t enough to sway Mikheyev to sign with Chicago.
Anton Wedin chase
There aren’t any new developments on the Wedin sweepstakes as the Swedish men’s national team as yet to be finalized for the World Championship. If Wedin makes the team, he’ll sign with either the Blackhawks or Coyotes after the tournament. If he does not make the cut he’ll sign prior to the tournament, which begins May 10.