Buzzing The Net - Junior Hockey

The Moncton Wildcats might have made the best addition so far of the young 2013-14 QMJHL trading period, and it wasn’t via trade.

They have finally landed Russian center Vladimir Tkachev from Avangard Omsk. His IIHF transfer has been processed and he can join his QMJHL team.

The team still needs to dot the I’s and cross the t’s on some paperwork with the CHL and Hockey Canada, and Tkachev needs to receive his Canadian visa, but they have confirmed Tkachev as a Wildcat Sunday in a press release.

“We are hopeful that Vladimir will arrive and suit up in early January,” Wildcats director of hockey operations Roger Shannon said in the release. “This will be an exciting day to see this young superstar in a Wildcats jersey.”

Tkachev, 18, was Moncton’s only selection, 39th overall, in the CHL Import Draft this past summer. He was held up in Russia on a delay for a visa, and opted to practice with Avangard Omsk, his local pro team. He impressed the staff so much that they offered him a contract.

He suited up for two games in the KHL, while spending the majority of his season with Omskie Yastreby in the MHL, scoring at over a-point-a-game with 19 points in 16 games. His omission from the Russian world junior team was a surprise to most, who expected the high-flying center to suit up for his national club in Malmo.

Tkachev is eligible for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft due to a late-1995 birthday. He will be paired up with fellow Russian forward Ivan Barbashev, who is away in Malmo, and fit in nicely on a Moncton team in need of offence. Tkachev and Barbashev played together in the World Under-18 Championships in Sochi last summer, where Vlad finished third and Ivan finished fourth in tournament scoring.

The Wildcats sit in 10th spot in the QMJHL with a 21-18-0-2 record, and 11th in goals for with 125. Moncton snapped a nine-game winning streak with a 2-1 loss to Saint John on Sunday.

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