The KHL's HC Spartak Moscow announced Monday that they have signed Toronto Maple Leafs 2016 fifth round pick Vladimir Bobylev to a two-year, two way contract.
The 19-year-old Russian forward, drafted 122nd overall by the Leafs, will leave the WHL's Victoria Royals (where he spent last season) to join Spartak.
Here's is the press release, loosely translated from Russian to English using Google Translate:
Hockey club Spartak has signed a bilateral contract with the forward Vladimir Bobylev. The agreement is for two seasons. The pupil of the Lipetsk U16 hockey program made his debut in the MHL in the Atlantis, and then went to Canada, where he spent a year with the Vancouver Giants. Last summer, the forward returned to Russia to compete for a place at the heart of the red and white, but then went back across the ocean, where he performed for the club Victoria Royals (WHL). In the last championship Bobylev scored 74 (28 +46) points in 77 games with a rating of "49". In a draft of the 2016 National Hockey League, Toronto Maple Leafs chose Vladimir Bobylev under the 122nd number.
The 19-year-old forward has joined the Spartak continued the first collection in the Czech Republic.
Bobylev, who closed out his rookie season in the WHL with seven points in five playoff games, is a 6-2, more than 200-pound winger who plays with power and had some pretty impressive fights in the WHL despite not being the most physical player.
Excellent away from the puck, Bobylev plays a dependable two-way game and was challenged with tough minutes under head coach Dave Lowry in Victoria as a result. In large part because he skates well and has size, Bobylev is able to physically out-muscle opponents and win one-on-one puck battles as a result. While he won't wow with offensive flair, he's gifted enough to be a strong cycle presence who can finish plays off in front.
An overager in the 2016 class, Bobylev's size should help him transition into the KHL. Spartak, one of the KHL's weaker teams last year, finished 11th in the KHL's Western Conference with just 20 regulation wins in 60 games. And while Bobylev was signed to a two-way deal, the team's need for help up front (Spartak was also 11th in their conference in goals for with 139) will bode well for his chances at cracking the roster full-time in his first year of the contract.
With Bobylev in the KHL for the foreseeable future, the Leafs also won't have to be concerned with using an SPC slot on the Russian forward.