The Golden Knights may be building a Russian connection.
Just hours after surprising the hockey world by landing prized Russian sniper Vadim Shipachyov — a two-year, $9 million deal signed Thursday night — Vegas is now reportedly in the running for Shipachyov’s longtime KHL running mate, Evgeny Dadonov.
Per Sports-Express’ Igor Eronko and Russian news outlet Championat, the Golden Knights are believed to be after the 28-year-old Dadonov, who was drafted by Florida in 2007 and appeared in 55 games for the organization over a five-year span.
After leaving North America, Dadonov caught on with Donbass HC before landing with powerhouse SKA Saint Petersburg. There, he and Shipachyov have become one of the Russian circuit’s most lethal tandems. The two combined for 56 goals and 146 points in just over 50 games played this season.
Internationally, Shipachyov and Dadonov have been outstanding. The pair ran roughshod at the 2016 World Hockey Championship, finishing first and third in the tournament in scoring (with 19 and 13 points, respectively). The third member of their dominant line, Chicago’s Artemi Panarin, finished the tourney with 15 points.
If Vegas is able to pull off this signing, it would be a fairly big coup. Shipachyov and Dadonov are considered to be two of the most talented players outside the NHL and, as we’ve seen recently, elite offensive veterans have fared well coming over from the KHL. Panarin has been a star for the Blackhawks, while Alex Radulov enjoyed a terrific campaign in Montreal.