Pavel Valentenko(25) Avangard Omsk

Connecticut Whale defenseman Pavel Valentenko(25) heads back home to Russia giving up his restricted free agency status with New York Rangers and signed a two-year deal with Avangard Omsk of the KHL. This team went to the Garagin Cup Finals last season and lost to Dynamo Moscow in 7 games.

He was originally picked by Montreal Canadiens in the 5th round of the 2006 draft (#139 overall) and played his rookie season with Hamilton Bulldogs before getting traded to the Rangers.

The 24-year old d-man has yet to appear in an NHL game and he may have slid on their depth chart, which may point to good reason for his departure.

In two seasons with Connecticut Whale, he scored 10 goals and 31 assists in 154 regular and postseason games. He had an especially good feed in game 4 of the Calder Cup Semi-Finals in what was his last AHL win.

The one stat that really sticks out for the 6’2″ 202 lbs. blue liner is his +39 plus/minus, a huge feat for a player that eats up all those minutes in his own zone. It’s kind of a wonder why he never got a look.

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