April 20, 2017, 10:46 AM ET [20 Comments]
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When Ray Shero took over the New Jersey Devils he made it clear he'll explore any and all roads, even those less traveled, to try and improve the team.
One of those roads is the European free agent market. Shero has been quite active in that regard as he's signed Sergey Kalinin, Vojtech Mozik and Yohann Auvitu over his first couple summers as GM.
While none of the signings have necessarily paid off thus far, there is no risk in taking a chance on an unknown player and there is potential for a very nice reward (look at Artemi Panarin and Nikita Zaitsev, among others).
Knowing that, Shero has gone right back to the well and signed defenseman Yaroslav Dyblenko to a two-year entry-level contract.
Dyblenko is a 6'1', 210-pound defenseman who tallied 11 points in 51 games with Spartak of the KHL last season. Those numbers don't exactly jump off the page but that was still enough to tie him for 9th on the team in scoring.
Admittedly I've never seen him play so I'll defer to someone who has for a quick thought on his potential.
When you search Dyblenko's name on Youtube you'll find several videos of him throwing big hits so it would seem he brings a physical presence to the table, something the Devils could certainly use.
Whether Dyblenko is capable of becoming an NHL regular remains to be seen but it can't hurt to find out.