Vladimir Tkachev’s contract with the Edmonton Oilers has been ruled ineligible by the NHL.
Tkachev signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the Oilers early Tuesday.
The 18-year-old is still eligible for June’s NHL Draft.
According to the CBA, because Tkachev was an undrafted player, he had to play a full year in North America in order to be NHL eligible.
Tkachev played two games with KHL’s Avangard Omsk in the 2013-14 season before joining Moncton for the remainder of the Wildcats’ campaign.
Tkachev appeared in only 20 regular-season games with the Wildcats in 2014 due to a delay in securing his Canadian visa. He scored 10 goals and added 20 assists in the regular season and added seven goals and nine points in six playoff games.
“There’s a subsection in the CBA that defines prior season. When we looked at it, it looked like Vlad fulfilled all the criteria to sign a Standard Player’s Contract,” Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish told Reid Wilkins of 630 CHED. “He went through the draft — 30 teams had a chance to draft him — and he played the prior season in North America, which he did in Moncton.
“But when you go down two paragraphs further, in another subsection of article 8, it defines ‘prior season’ as a complete season. Vlad had played some games in the KHL and that went unnoticed.”
The Russian winger has made the most of his camp invite from the the Oilers, contributing three assists in three pre-season games with the Oilers and chipping in four assists in four rookie tournament games. Listed at five-foot-nine and 141 pounds, Tkachev was passed over in the 2014 NHL draft due to his small stature despite being the 60th-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting.