Winnipeg’s Mikhail Berdin to return to Russia for 2022-23

The Winnipeg Jets have announced that goaltender Mikhail Berdin will not play for the organization in the 2022-23 season.

The Jets cited advice and recommendations from the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program as the reason. Berdin’s agent, Dan Milstein, tweeted that Berdin was returning home to Russia to be closer to his family.

Winnipeg Sun beat writer Scott Billeck confirmed that no substance abuse problem was involved.

Berdin, 24, was drafted in the sixth round by the Jets in 2016. He spent two years in the USHL with Sioux Falls before turning pro in 2018-19. He split his time between the Manitoba Moose of the AHL and the Jacksonville IceMen of the ECHL before becoming Manitoba’s full-time starter in 2019-20.

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Berdin has a career AHL record of 65-50-11 in 126 regular season games over five years with the Moose.

Berdin was in the final year of his two-year extension with the Jets with an AAV of $750,000.

Berdin’s new KHL team has yet to be announced, but he posted a 6-3-2 record with SKA St. Petersburg in the COVID-19 affected 2020-21 season.

The Moose have a handful of goaltenders to choose from, including signed NHL prospects Arvid Holm and Oskari Salminen. Holm went a respectable 12-10-2 in 24 games as an AHL rookie last season, while Salminen is ready for his debut.

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The team also features AHL veteran Evan Cormier, who played 14 games with the Moose last year, and Liam Hughes, who was split last year between the University of Manitoba, Fort Wayne Komets and the Guildford Flames.

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