You can add Nik Antropov to the list of players who are heading to the KHL from the NHL for next season.
The big, veteran center who scored the first goal in the history of the Winnipeg Jets 2.0 in 2011, is bound for the Russian league. Sport-Express in Russia reported he was heading overseas and then on Thursday the twitter account for Astana Barys in Antropov’s home country of Kazakhstan tweeted that Antropov has signed a two-year deal.
This is another example of an Eastern European player heading to Europe as the chances in the NHL were drying up. It’s not as though it’s a massive blow to the league or anything, though I did think Antropov was a guy who could still find a job in the NHL. Perhaps there was interest but maybe just not enough to keep him from wanting to go home.
Antropov, 33, is just three seasons removed from his best career year. In 2009-10 with the Thrashers he had 24 goals and 43 assists for 67 points. This past season season he had just six goals and 123 assists in 40 games, his production starting to dip in recent years.
Antropov joins the likes of Alexei Ponikarovsky, Alex Burmistrov, Antti Miettinen, Derek Meech, and Aaron Gagnon, all who have recently left the Jets to sign overseas.