Today it was announced that Kirill Kabanov signed a try-out contract with top Elitserien team Farjestad BK. The 19-years-old Russian winger was among the last cuts of the New York Islanders.
To shed some light on this unexpected event, RHF talked with EliteProspect's admin Johan Nillson, a Swedish hockey expert.
What is Kirill Kabanov's reputation in Sweden? You know that in Russia and in North America he had some problems, how is all this in a "neutral" country like Sweden?
Kabanov is not overly known in Sweden, but for those that have indeed heard about him, I think they believe he is somewhat of a "problem child" with some diva tendencies.
As we know Kabanov has a contract up to November 6th. What do you think, does he have a chance to stay in Sweden for the whole year?
I honestly have no clue how well he will fair. He will for sure have to do his very best to be able to grab a spot on Färjestad's roster. It will be easy to get rid of him if they find his attitude or work ethic in question...
Can you talk us about Farjestad? Is the team a contender for the Elitserien title?
Färjestad has really started the season lousy are currently placed last. On paper, the team is good enough to be top 4-5 in Elitserien, but they are really underachieving at the moment.
What kind of role Kabanov can get on the team? Could he potentially compete for a top 6 spot?
Färjestad's needs scoring and offense, so if they are bringing in someone now, they want him to contribute offensively rather than having a limited role. I think Kabanov will get the chance to see quality ice-time, and some time on the pp unit.
Last question. Considering Kabanov's history, do you think a move to Sweden is potentially good for his career? Better than spending another season in the juniors?
Not knowing the exact current status of Kabanov, but looking at his history, it might be good for him to be playing in a men's league. In a professional organization with many high quality players and where he will not be thought of as the obvious star/key player. It ought to get some pressure of his shoulders and maybe that could have a positive affect on his game.