In May 2013, when it was announced that Daniil Zharkov had signed a 2 year deal with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod in the KHL, I was somewhat happy and worrisome. The 6’3, 212 lb winger was the Belleville Bulls second-leading scorer in 2012-2013 with 25 goals and 18 assists in 59 games, also possessing a impressive plus/minus 18. The case of me being happy? Development. Like Teemu Hartikainen, Daniil Zharkov has opted to go to Europe,than play pro hockey in North America. In the Kontinental league, Danii Zharkov will be playing against men and his skill-set will be tested on the larger ice surface. Therefore, improvement, but not alot of improvement from the CHL.
Now, the worrisome part to my collective thoughts? He’s in Russia. KHL teams will over-pay to bring back or retain they native countrymen from pursuing North American opportunities. Even if Daniil Zharkov does or doesn’t turn out to be the brightest bulb in the pack of the Oilers prospect pool, he can negotiate a new deal with Nizhny, or any other KHL team that’ll keep him in Mother Russia. Which means, it’d somewhat be Alexander Bumagin all-over again without the streaky offense Zharkov possesses.
Thus far, in 20 games with Torpedo Nizhny Navgorod, Zharkov has produced 2 goals with a -1 rating. Not staggering numbers, and don’t expect staggering numbers from him this entire season.