Dadonov Practicing In South Florida

That status of Evgeni Dadonov has gone back and forth this summer with all of us wondering if he was going to be playing in North America or if the threats of the KHL were going to keep him in Russia.  It looks as if it’s North America for Dadonov as he’s in Florida and working out with the team.  Assuming nothing strange happens we’ll be seeing Dadonov in Rochester this season.  When I say strange I mean the KHL dropping a massive law suit or Dadonov having an amazing camp and blowing everyone away.

I was critical of Dadonov in a previous article this summer so I’m really curious to see him play as well as get the chance to talk directly with him.  Here’s the article from the Panthers site:

Dadonov Practicing In South Florida
Koistinen ready for new start
Tuesday, 09.01.2009 / 7:00 AM / News
Florida Panthers

By Dave Joseph for

Panthers prospect Evgeni Dadonov, the subject of rumors this summer that he wouldn’t be able to leave Russia and his team in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), is not only in South Florida but working out with the rest of the Panthers at incredibleIce.

Dadonov, a 5-10 right winger who scored 11 goals in 40 games last year with Chelyabinsk Traktor of the KHL, skated Monday with an ever-growing list of Panthers, including newcomers Steve Reinprecht and Jeff Taffe. There are now close to a dozen Panthers taking part in the informal practices organized by veteran Cory Stillman including Nathan Horton, Stephen Weiss, Tomas Vokoun and Kamil Kreps.

Drafted in the third round (71st overall) by the Panthers in 2007, there were reports Dadonov wouldn’t be allowed to leave Traktor because the team had issued him a qualifying offer, therefore preventing his departure. Traktor coach Andrei Nazarov told Russian newspapers the Panthers would have to compensate Traktor if Dadonov made the team.

But Dadonov has arrived.

“He’s here, he’s skating, and his contract was registered and accepted with the NHL,” said Panthers assistant GM Randy Sexton. “He has very good skills and last year at the World Junior Championships, he played very well.”

Dadonov, in fact, skated on Russia’s top line at the Worlds with Nikita Filatov, selected with the sixth-overall pick at the 2008 Entry Draft by Columbus, and Evgeny Grachev, a third-round pick of the Rangers at that same draft.