Following a five-year hiatus from the NHL, Evgeni Dadonov qualifies as an intriguing sleeper pick heading into the 2017-18 campaign. He's an immensely talented playmaker, but a limited role with the Panthers had previously foiled his chances of attaining tangible fantasy value; he had 20 points in 55 outings spread across three seasons. However, fantasy owners should note that the winger refined his scoring touch in the KHL -- 30 goals and 36 helpers in 53 contests last year -- and he will likely slot into a top-line, power-play role for a shot at redemption with the Cats in 2017-18.
Dadonov signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the Panthers on Friday, TSN'S Bob McKenzie reports. Originally drafted by Florida with a third-round (71st overall) pick in 2007, Dadonov returns to the NHL after spending the past five seasons in the KHL. The 28-year-old Russian is a terrific playmaker -- as evidenced by his output of 30 goals and 36 assists in 53 games with St. Petersburg SKA this past season -- but the Panthers had previously only rolled him out for 55 contests over three campaigns between 2009-12. Given the moderate length and heavy chunk of change associated with his new deal, it's clear that he'll be a lineup mainstay this time around.
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