Leafs most likely team to sign Russian defenceman Ozhiganov

The Hockey Night in Canada panel discuss all the news and rumours around the NHL including if some Canadian teams are looking to add to their rosters.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have had success with defencemen acquired through the international route, most notably Nikita Zaitsev, and it looks like they may soon venture down that avenue again.

The club appears to be the front-runner for the services of 25-year-old Russian Igor Ozhiganov.

“He’s going to be recruited by some NHL teams, but the word out of Russia is that he is most likely going to Toronto next year,” Friedman said during Saturday’s Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada.

The six-foot-two, 207-pound defenceman was never drafted to the NHL and is in his third season with CSKA Moscow of the KHL. His contract expires in April.

Ozhiganov scored 22 points in 50 games in 2016-17 to establish a career high in Russia’s top league. This season, though, he has just two assists in 18 games.

Leafs head coach Mike Babcock and general manager Lou Lamoriello reportedly visited Ozhiganov in Russia during the summer.


When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.