Russian outlet reports that NY Islanders prospect Ruslan Iskhakov will play in KHL

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Prospect Ruslan Iskhakov's late-season cameo may have been the last we see of him in the New York Islanders organization.

A report citing the Russian online sports outlet says the 2018 second-round pick will sign a contract with CSKA Moscow of the KHL for next season. The Islanders had extended a qualifying offer to Iskhakov, a two-time AHL All-Star, on Jun. 30th, along with four other players.

Iskhakov made his long-awaited NHL debut in the final regular-season game of last season against the Pittsburgh Penguins after the Islanders had locked up their playoff position. He registered an assist for his first NHL point and later played in Game 4 of the team's first-round matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes at UBS Arena.

"He's got great energy. He competes," said head coach Patrick Roy after Iskhakov's NHL debut. "He's small, but I don't know if he knows he's small, the way he's been playing, so that's nice to watch. It was fun. I have time for him."

Unfortunately, Iskhakov may have run out of patience trying to crack the Islanders forward group after being the organization's leading scorer at Bridgeport last season and dazzling hockey fans with his stick-handling and shootout prowess in games and skill competitions.

Rumors of the diminutive forward playing in Russia started last February. At the time, his agent, Dan Milstein wouldn't confirm if they were true. “Ruslan is playing to earn an opportunity to play in the NHL,” Milstein said to The Hockey News.

”All contract and league discussions won’t take place until the summer.”

Despite the Islanders making the qualifying offer, the lack fo a clear path to playing regular NHL minutes could have been enough for Iskhakov to choose the KHL over another season in the Islanders organization without a clear spot and role on Roy's team.