Highly rated forward Alexander Radulov has signed a four-year contract with CSKA Moscow, the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) club said on Monday.
“Today I can say with pride that it has finally happened,” CSKA general manager Sergei Fedorov said on the club’s website.
“Without a doubt, Alexander has been one of the most dynamic Russian players in recent years. He stands out on the ice because of his incredible dedication, great speed, excellent vision and scoring instincts,” said Fedorov, a former NHL All-Star with the Detroit Red Wings.
Radulov, 25, spent the tail end of last season with the NHL’s Nashville Predators, before being lured back to Russia to join the re-building Red Army club.
Originally drafted as a first-round pick by the Predators back in 2004, Radulov had controversially signed a three-year deal in 2008 with KHL side Salavat Yulaev Ufa while still under contract at Nashville.
Suspended by the U.S. club, though still playing in Russia, Radulov then surprised many by signing a one-year deal last season back at the Predators, helping them to reach the Stanley Cup play-offs.
However, relations soured again after the club suspended him once more, this time following a violation of team rules during the Western Conference semi-final series against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Radulov, rated by many as the best player outside of the NHL, will be a big boost to CSKA’s hopes of challenging for the league title in the forthcoming season.
CSKA, holders of a record 32 national titles in the old Soviet League, but who have won nothing since 1989, have found themselves falling behind the pecking order in recent years, losing out to teams with much more financial clout.
However, after being bought by state oil company Rosneft last year, CSKA have a budget which allows them to compete once again for the title.