Thursday, November 28, 2019

Valentin Zykov Autographed Card

Today, the Vegas Golden Knights announced they had sent Valentin Zykov down to the AHL's Chicago Wolves after clearing wavers, as he is set to return to play after a 20-game suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. After it has been revealed that this was done without the consent of the Golden Knights - and because he's the second player in two seasons to get suspended by the league for PEDs - I am fairly certain the organization now wants him out.

Despite his pedigree as a second-round pick (37th overall by the Los Angeles Kings in 2013), the 24-year-old with over-average stick-handling skills and near-elite passing with decent size (6'2", 205-210 pounds), I doubt many teams want to take a chance on handing him a middle-six position on the wing after this. I believe he will require a five-year exile to the KHL to mature before getting another chance at an NHL gig, especially with just 15 points in 47 NHL games to his name so far split between L.A., Vegas and the Carolina Hurricanes.

He did put up 33 goals and 54 points in 64 games with the AHL's Charlotte Checkers in 2017-18, but translating that extra "oomph" to NHL success has proven to be difficult, as is often the case for power forwards.

Here he is from his high-scoring Juniors days with the LHJMQ's Baie-Comeau Drakkar on card #65 from In The Game's 2013-14 Heroes And Prospects set:
I got this one in a trade last year from fellow collector BG, who got the autograph in-person. He's shown wearing the Drakkar's red (away) uniform, which does well to mostly use the Calgary Flames' colour scheme but avoid the trapping of copying their uniform design.

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