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Report: Artyom Sergeyev is supposedly signing with the Florida Panthers

Cats could be adding experienced defensive depth from the KHL

2019/2020 Kontinental Hockey League: Admiral Vladivostok 3 - 6 Salavat Yulayev Ufa Photo by Yuri Smityuk\TASS via Getty Images

According to Sports Express writer Igor Eronko, Salavat Yulaev Ufa Ufa defenseman Artyom Sergeyev is going to sign with the Florida Panthers when his KHL contract expires on May 1.

Sergeyev is a 6’1”, 207 lbs right-handed defenseman who prefers staying in his own zone and shutting down the opposition. In his younger days, he showed offensive upside as a junior player, but that didn’t carry over once he joined the professional ranks.

He will be 28 in February and has played in the KHL for the last five years. He has spent the last two seasons with Salavat Yulaev, where he produced eight goals and 21 points in 110 games.

The defenseman is no stranger to North America ice as he played three years for the Val-d’Or Foreurs of the QMJHL and then played two pro seasons (74 games total) with the Tampa Bay Lightning’s AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch from 2013 to 2015. This time also included a 35 games with the ECHL’s Florida Everblades, so he’s no stranger to the Sunshine State either.

When his contract with the Tampa Bay expired in 2015, Sergeyev went back to Russia and signed a deal with CSKA Moscow. For the following three years, he split playing time between the KHL and CSKA’s VHL affiliate, Zvezda Chekhov. He was traded to Salavat Yulaev Ufa in 2018 in exchange for the rights to former Edmonton Oiler Anton Slepyshev.

If he is unable to win a spot on Florida’s bottom pairing, he will be a useful defenseman at the AHL level and provide experienced depth as an injury call up.