Remember the name Steve Moses.
Not only did he set a new KHL record for goals this week, he’ll almost certainly be plying his trade in North America next season.
The undrafted 25-year-old winger has put himself on the radar of several NHL teams after scoring 36 goals and 57 points in 57 games for Jokerit Helsinki this season. That included a successful penalty shot against Atlant on Wednesday, which established a new benchmark for goals in the Russian-based league.
Moses is listed at five-foot-nine and has spent three years playing in Finland since graduating from the University of New Hampshire. Jarmo Kekalainen originally brought him to Jokerit and his Columbus Blue Jackets are believed to be among the teams interested in signing him this summer.
The Edmonton Oilers are also rumoured to have interest and dispatched a large group of scouts to a recent game in Helsinki. Other teams are closely monitoring his play as well.
It’s going to take a one-way NHL contract to get Moses back to North America since he could command a salary in excess of $2-million if he stayed in the KHL, according to a source.
Moses played with James van Riemsdyk at UNH and the pair lived together a couple summers ago. Van Riemesdyk, the Toronto Maple Leafs winger, says his friend is one of the most dedicated athletes he’s ever met and recalled him having a timer on his watch beep every two hours to remind him to eat as part of a specialized meal plan.
Even though Moses isn’t particularly tall, van Riemsdyk says he’s thick like Toronto teammate Leo Komarov and should be able to withstand the physical rigours that come with playing on a smaller ice surface.
“He skates like the wind,” van Riemsdyk told me. “He’s really well built. He won’t get thrown around over here.”
It shouldn’t be too long before we get to see for ourselves.