Thursday, October 13, 2011
Kirill Kabanov headed to Europe
By Katie Strang
Polarizing Islanders prospect Kirill Kabanov is headed back to Europe, multiple sources told ESPNNewYork.com.
The mercurial 19-year-old Russian winger plans to play for Farjestads BK of the Swedish Elite League, according to one source.
Kabanov was recently dispatched from his former junior team, the Lewiston MAINEiacs, to the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada through the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's dispersal draft but had no interest in playing for the new club.
Kabanov's camp felt his development was best served elsewhere and, because the CHL/NHL agreement prohibits him from playing in the American Hockey League this season, determined Europe as the next best option. The Islanders support the decision.
Despite the murky terms under which Kabanov left Russia --he left the Kontinental Hockey League to play juniors in the QMJHL in 2009 and was cut from the Russian Under-18 team the following spring --it is believed Kabanov also had an offer from a KHL team.
Kabanov was seen as a low-risk gamble when the Islanders drafted the enigmatic forward in the third round of the 2010 draft, but he lived up to his bad-boy reputation in his first training camp last summer. Although his talent and charisma made him a fan favorite, he was disciplined repeatedly for showing up late to team meetings.
Kabanov has also burned through several agents leading up to his draft day and since. He replaced his most recent ex-agent Rick Curran with Paul Theofanous before signing his three-year entry-level deal this July.