Senators RFA forward Vitaly Abramov has signed a two-year contract with Traktor Chelyabinsk
Acquired in the Matt Duchene trade at the 2019 deadline, Vitaly Abramov enjoyed plenty of success with Belleville, but the Senators’ tremendously deep prospect pool didn’t allow for the 23-year-old Russian to get many opportunities in Ottawa.
The diminutive forward was always going to have his work cut out for him to make the NHL roster and it’s likely that he didn’t see himself playing in the near future with the big club, which would be an accurate assumption. Due to Abramov being an RFA, the Senators are allowed to give him a qualifying offer and if they decide to he could return to the franchise if he decides to come back. His two-year contract means that he likely won’t attempt a return to the NHL until the 2023-24 season.
The former Gatineau Olympiques superstar was great again this season with Belleville, putting up 19 points in 23 games and forcing Pierre Dorion’s hand for a call-up, which he was eventually granted. The Chelyabinsk native played in 2 games with Ottawa where he was held without a point in both contests, he was never given many opportunities under head coach D.J. Smith and it was clear that he didn’t trust Abramov enough to even force a struggling Ryan Dzingel out of the lineup.
Standing at just 5’10” and near 180 pounds it’s quite unlikely that Abramov would’ve been allotted a top-six or even middle-six role in the near future and combining that with the unlikeliness that D.J. Smith would consider Abramov for a fourth-line role, the move makes sense for the highly-skilled Russian.