NY Islanders News

Islanders Loan Kabanov To Swedish Elite League

By Andy Graziano

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Not all moves work out for a National Hockey League general manager and Garth Snow is no different. Taking a low risk gamble by selecting then 17 year old Kirill Kabanov with the 65th selection in the 2010 entry draft, the Islanders were hoping they stole a diamond in the rough capable of producing offense well into the future.

Today, those dreams do not look to be coming to fruition as the organization has sent him on loan to MoDo of the Swedish Elite League.

From day one of training camp at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Kabanov did not seperate himself from the pack, at least to the eyes from this website that were present among the media contingent in the stands. When he began the season in Bridgeport of the American Hockey League, heads did not turn either at that level of competition.

After producing good numbers over four seasons in the QMJHL of 42 goals and 64 assists in 111 games, Kabanov could not get things going in the NHL’s top developmental league. Wearing #77, he only could muster 3 goals in 16 games on 21 shots. Hardly the numbers you want to see one of your top prospects producing.

The potential that had some talking him up as a possible first round selection was doomed by what most have classified as ‘character issues’, work-ethic problems and a failure to find a common ground with one of his most trusted confidants: his father, who has been described as ‘being tough to deal with’ by others most close to the situation.

This quote from his old Russian junior coach described what some saw to be the problem, when Kabanov was at the center of controversy by being rejected by the Russian team representing their country at the 2010 U18 tournament.

“I removed him from the team because [although] we thought [he] would help us, but he brought only confusion to the team,” Vasiliev told Sovietsky Sport. “Kabanov came and thought ‘Here I am, a star from Canada, who will save all.’ But it’s the team that wins rather than an individual player.”

Who knows if this is the end for the one touted prospect as the Islanders are known for being very patient and even lenient, some say to a fault, with some of their prospects. But it certainly does not bode well for either side from the looks of what happened today.