Igor Bobkov (Lance Thomson/Getty Images)
Former Anaheim Ducks and Russian World Junior goaltender Igor Bobkov is heading to the KHL. Bobkov, who wasn’t issued a qualifying offer by the Ducks, has reportedly signed a contract with Admiral Vladivostok.
Bobkov, a 24-year-old Russian netminder, was a third-round pick of the Ducks in 2009, but hadn't been much more than an AHL backup or ECHL starter in the Anaheim organization since he made his full-time professional debut in 2012-13. During the lockout-shortened campaign, Bobkov was the backup goaltender with the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals, where he posted an 11-17-0 record, 3.13 goals-against average and .903 save percentage.
Those 28 games in 2012-13 would be more chances than Bobkov would get over the next two seasons, however. Even with a litany of injuries between the pipes for the Ducks didn’t lead to a chance at the NHL ,or even AHL starting duty, for Bobkov. Instead, Anaheim brought Jason LaBarbera up from Norfolk and signed free agent Ilya Bryzgalov when there was a need in goal this past season.
Coincidentally, Bobkov will be joining the KHL’s Admiral Vladivostok, according to Sports-Express’ Igor Eronko.
For Bobkov, the writing was likely on the wall when Anaheim chose not to submit a qualifying offer to the goaltender. Bobkov then became an unrestricted free agent, but decided to head back home to the KHL rather than continue to toil in the minor leagues in North America.
Over the past two seasons in the ECHL, Bobkov suited up for 63 games and posted a record of 36-20-6 with a 2.32 GAA and .919 SP. He also managed six shutouts. At 6-foot-6, 238 pounds, Bobkov had the natural size, but was never quite able to find a way to make his game translate to the big league.
Bobkov was a standout at the 2010 World Junior Championship, posting a save percentage of .930 in the tournament, but the Russian club finished in sixth place, their worst finish since 2001.