A year after making his Kettler debut, Washington Capitals 2015 first-round pick Ilya Samsonov will not be at this year’s Development Camp. There are several reasons why.
Monday night, I spoke to a source close to Samsonov who explained the prospect’s rationale. Samsonov would like to be in Washington DC but there are several factors holding him back.
The first is that Samsonov is signed to a KHL standard contract with Metallurg Magnitogorsk through the 2017-18 season and KHL teams are becoming even more militant about how those deals are being enforced. The contracts do not specifically disallow NHL Development Camp participation. The language is muddy enough where players, especially ones that are considering a future in the NHL, will “test the waters.” The NHL and KHL have not had a transfer agreement in place since July 2015, vowing to only respect each league’s contracts.
I’m told Samsonov did not ask Metallurg Magnitogorsk for permission to participate in Caps 2016 Development Camp last season and if he would have asked, he would have been denied.
Samsonov also did not participate in Caps 2015 Development Camp the year he was drafted.
The Caps top prospect goaltender is also seven weeks removed from successful inguinal hernia surgery in Rome. Samsonov likely suffered the injury during the 2017 World Junior Championship.
On June 9, Samsonov declared himself 100% healthy.
“Finally I feel 100%!” Samsonov wrote on Instagram. “All my injuries are behind me. Let’s go train some more!”
Currently, Samsonov is training with 2SP Sports in Michigan. He will travel back to Russia on Saturday and then immediately report back to Metallurg Magnitogorsk, who are hosting their physicals for next season. The KHL, unlike the NHL, is stopping their season for several weeks to accommodate the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
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