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Toronto has won the Alexander Barabanov sweepstakes

Will he be the next Ilya Mikheyev? No one can match that debut, but maybe he can come close.

Kontinental Hockey League: SKA St Petersburg vs Metallurg Magnitogorsk
My puck! Mine.
Photo by Peter Kovalev\TASS via Getty Images

We already wrote about this when it was just a rumour:

And now that it’s a reality, the reality has set in that it will be a long time before we get a real look at Barabanov.

The Maple Leafs are reporting that he has been signed to a one-year entry-level contract, but my reading of the rules had him too old to require an ELC. I had missed this little exception to the age guidelines:

(c) Notwithstanding the chart set forth in (b) above, a Player who at the time he was drafted was playing for a team outside North America or who meets the qualifications set forth in Article 8.4(a)(v) (a “European Player”) who signs his first SPC at ages 25-27 shall be subject to the Entry Level System for one (1) year. A European Player who signs his first SPC at age 28 or older is not subject to the Entry Level System under any circumstances.

We’ll clarify the terms of the contract when we know them.