CSKA Moscow forward Sergei Andronov has decided to take up his NHL draft contract and spend next season with the St. Louis Blues, the Moscow club said Thursday.
The right winger was drafted by St. Louis in the third round of the 2009 draft.
Andronov, who turned 23 on Thursday, has been playing in the KHL since 2008, racking up 48 points in 194 games.
The team’s general manager and former Detroit Red Wings forward Sergei Fedorov wished Andronov all the best in the United States.
“Sergei has decided to try his hand in North America. We wish good luck in this venture, because overseas performance is an invaluable experience for any hockey player.” Fedorov was quoted by the club’s website.
Fedorov added that CSKA will keep the door open for Andronov should he decide to return.
“If Sergei wants to come back to Russia, CSKA will always glad to see him in our team,” Fedorov said.
CSKA has signed 11 new players so far in the off-season, showing the team's intent to put last season's shambles, a first-round playoffs knockout, behind it.
The acquisition drive has been fueled by the team's new owner Rosneft, the state oil giant that saved CSKA from bankruptcy.
The Blues finished second in the Western Conference last season before losing to eventual champion the Los Angeles Kings in the second round of the playoffs.