The KHL welcomes three new sides to its ranks for the 2012-2013 season, and from Bratislava to Donetsk, the transfer market has been getting into action. Meanwhile in St. Petersburg, SKA has swooped to sign a promising young forward from Traktor.
Starting in Bratislava, Slovan has made Milan Bartovic its first addition to the roster for its KHL debut. Bartovic arrives from Czech team Liberec, but is no stranger to the league: he played for Atlant in the 2010-11 season, scoring six points in 23 appearances in Moscow Region.
Across the border in the Czech Republic, Lev Prague – not to be confused with Lev Poprad, the Slovak club which competed last season – has also been busy. Among its signings are not one, but two Juraj Mikus’s. The first (pictured) is a familiar face, having played for Spartak, Dinamo Riga and Lev Poprad in the past two seasons, scoring 37 points in 89 regular season KHL games. The second Juraj Mikus is a 23-year-old defenseman who is returning to Europe after three years in Toronto, where he played AHL hockey for the Leafs’ farm club Toronto Marlies. And that’s not all: Jakub Klepis, scorer of the decisive goal in last season’s Gagarin Cup final series, is returning to his homeland, as are the likes of Amur’s forward Petr Vrana, former CSKA and Dinamo Riga frontman Tomas Surovy and ex-Severstal stopper Ondrej Nemec.
Donbass Donetsk is set to become Ukraine’s first KHL contender, and the men from the mining city hope they’ve unearthed the right blend of youth and experience in the summer signings to date. Familiar names include goaltender Erik Ersberg (Salavat Yulaev), defensemen Jaroslav Obsut (Dinamo Minsk) and Karel Pilar (Lev Poprad), and Peter Podhradsky, who scored 64 points for Dinamo Minsk in the past two season. But there’s also a strong accent on youth, with three prospects signed from MHL side Khimik Voskresensk. Ilya Karlin, Yegor Krivchenko and Maxim Kvitchenko are all hoping to make the step up to the adult game with Donbass.
SKA’s latest addition is 21-year-old forward Anton Burdasov. He’s heading north for an undisclosed fee after a second attempt to prize him away from Traktor proved successful. Burdasov, who helped Russia win the Under-20 World Championship in 2011 and made his senior international debut during last season’s Eurotour, was reportedly unhappy with a lack of game time in Chelyabinsk. Agent Shumi Babayev told Sovietsky Sport that this was the main reason behind the move to SKA.