It took until day six of the Edmonton Oilers Training Camp, but Anton Belov has finally arrived and is participating in practice.
The Russian defenceman’s arrival into Canada was held up because of a late application for a visa and the fact that Canada’s Foreign Service officers are on strike.
“I really like to be here,” said Belov. “It was a long way and long trip to Edmonton. I waited for my visa for two and a half months because of the embassy strike. Now it’s okay. I’m here and I’m part of the team.”
Belov flew into Edmonton last night and was on the ice for this morning’s skate.
“I had one dream’ to play in the NHL. I’ve never been drafted and now, the (Oilers) GM Craig MacTavish gave me a chance. I hope and I promise I will do everything for Edmonton, for the team.”
The six-foot-four, 219 pound blueliner, has played the last five seasons in the KHL with Avangard Omsk. During the 2012-13 campaign, Belov saw career highs in goals (9) and assists (17) in 46 games.
His career stats in the KHL include 64 points in 227 games.
Belov joins two fellow Russians on the Oilers roster in Denis Grebeshkov and Nail Yakupov. He signed a one-year, entry level contract with the club in May.