Ex-NHLer Voynov set to sign in KHL

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After facing charges for domestic violence,  pleading no contest  and spending 90 days in a cell, Slava Voynov was taken into custody by the  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. All signs were pointing that he would be deported to his native Russia. Things didn’t go that far, as Voynov decided to return to Russia (via self-deportation) to avoid any future problems he could be facing if deported.

Ever since the news broke about an investigation of the crime he committed, the KHL was preparing for his return and now it’s about to happen.

Chelyabinsk native Voynov has been skating on his own for the last few days as he had ongoing talks with multiple teams in KHL, SKA St.Petersburgh, CSKA Moscow and AkBars Kazan.

The only problem that stood in his way was the fact that his rights are owned by Traktor Chelyabinsk, but now it seems all pieces have been set and he has decided to join the richest team in KHL – the SKA Saint Petersburg.

Multiple sources in KHL have leaked information that there is a trade pending and players rights are on the move. The 25-year old will join Ilya Kovalchuk and the Army team in exchange for draft picks, players and a huge money compensation, which will be the most important part of the deal.

Voynov has been for sale to the highest bidder and the money Traktor will get is significant – 111 million Russian Rubles (approximately 1.6 million USD). Voynov is expected to sign a one-year deal and re-evaluate his chances of returning to NHL next season. Slava Voynov is also one of the candidates for Russian national team during the World Cup of Hockey next year.

Russia is celebrating the return of the national super star who now will join Ilya Kovalchuk on the ice and when the times comes right, he will become the new face of the league. Slava’s focus is fully on the KHL, as he stated ”I don’t know if I will be allowed to return to US, so I have to focus on where I’m now and that’s all that matters”. Following a practice with Russian head coach Olegs Znaroks, Voynov revealed that despite visa problems, he plans to be as useful he can be to Russia and will do everything in his power to help his country win the World Cup.

Voynov began his career playing for Chelyabinsk Traktor in Russian Superleague (RSL) in 2006 – 07 season.

After the second campaign with Traktor, he was chosen in the second round, 32nd overall by the Los Angeles Kings during the  2008 NHL entry draft. Voynov was also drafted fifth overall by the Quebec Major  Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) ‘s Moncton Wildcats in 2008 Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Import Draft.

However, thanks to his two seasons of professional experience in Russia, was eligible to to play  and was then assigned to the Kings’ minor league affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League (AHL). He recorded eight goals and 23 points in his rookie season, in AHL, following the campaign, with 29 points in 79 games.

In 2011, he was selected to represent the 2011 Eastern Conference game AHL stars. Later on, Voynov became a stable corner stone of Kings defense and won the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014.

Voynov played 190 NHL games, recording 81 points (18G, 63A).

Internationally he has represented team Russia in multiple World Junior Championships one gold, two silver and one bronze medal. As a pro he represented Russia in 2014 Sochi Olympics, where he played five games and his team finished in 5th place in the tournament.

Written by Aivis Kalnins

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