Report: Defenseman Viktor Antipin to join Sabres after terminating KHL contract


It sounds like the Buffalo Sabres are close to signing their first free agent of the off-season.

KHL defenseman Viktor Antipin has reportedly terminated his contract with Magnitogorsk so that he can sign with Buffalo.

The 24-year-old has been a regular for Magnitogorsk since the 2012-13 season. He scored six goals and a career-high 24 points in 59 games in 2016-17. He added an impressive seven goals and four assists in 18 playoff games.

The Sabres could certainly use a hand on the blue line, as they have just five defensemen signed to one-way contracts next season (Rasmus Ristolainen, Zach Bogosian, Josh Gorges, Jake McCabe and Justin Falk).

Antipin has represented Russia at the under-18 and under-20 World Junior Hockey Championship tournaments and in each of the last two World Championship tournaments.

In other KHL-related news, Salavat Yulayev have officially signed former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Philip Larsen to a two-year deal.

The 27-year-old had one goal, five assists and a minus-8 rating in 26 games with the Canucks last season.

Larsen will join former NHLers Linus Omark, Teemu Hartikainen, Sami Lepisto and Niklas Svedberg on Salavat Yulayev’s roster.