Not many NHL fans are familiar with Igor Ozhiganov. Toronto Maple Leafs supporters may be the only interested party that the defender has been traded.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are the only team for which the old professional player, Igor Ozhiganov, is dressed in the NHL.
Before he played in North America, the 27-year-old d-man played eight seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in Russia.
Ozhiganov played a season with Toronto and has returned home to play for Ak Bars Kazan in the KHL. Yesterday he received news that he would change teams again. He was traded to SKA Saint Petersburg.
Toronto Maple Leafs Ex-Dman Traded
Fans of Toronto Maple Leafs may wonder why this news is relevant, especially if they are not Russian Puckheads. It helps to evaluate the value of Ozhiganov if he was still part of the Toronto organization. Last season with the Buds Ozhiganov did not set fire to the world, but he was decent enough in his role as defender of the lower pairs. He scored the goals and had four assists in 53 games. Ozhiganov did not play in the play-offs.
SKA receives a player who wanted to be back in the KHL. To get him, they gave up defender Roman Rukavishnikov and forward Viktor Tikhonov. Rukavishnikov has played his entire career in Russia and has had a disappointing start to his season. Tikhonov's career has made him bounce back and forth between Russia and North America.
Tikhonov was drafted in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft 2008. He went 28th overall to the Phoenix Coyotes. Unfortunately, he failed to live up to the expectations that were set for him. Tikhonov's best year in North America was actually his NHL rookie year. He played 61 games for the Coyotes and placed only 16 points.
This same player, the most important return in the exchange for Ozhiganov, is now 31 years old. He had five goals and seven assists in 38 games with SKA last season. This suggests that the NHL value of Ozhiganov is probably equal to a late pick in the seventh round, if that is the case.
Kyle Dubas may have been informed of this transaction. If so, there is no way that this has affected his opinion about Ozhiganov or his potential value for the team. No error was made which allowed the defender to leave the organization.
The Toronto Maple Leafs were right to let Ozhiganov go, because there is no one in the current roster of the team, let alone Rasmus Sandin, Kevin Gravel or Jordan Schmaltz, for which Ozzie would play.