From Maine Hockey Journal’s Chris Roy:
In a surprising, but not really, move, former Pirates’ forward Marek Zagrapan has signed a two-year deal with the Russian club Severstal Cherepovets of the KHL.
Despite struggling in the early part of the season, Zagrapan really excelled in the second half of the season under Pirates’ head coach Kevin Dineen. In 80 games – one of only three players to play in every game during the season including playoffs – he scored 21 goals, 28 assists for 49 points. All career highs for the 22 year old native of Presov, Slovakia.
Zagrapan was drafted in the first round (#13 overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, playing all three seasons in the minor leagues which may have had some bearing on his decision to play in Russia for at least the 2009-’10 season. He has an out in his contract with Severstal to come back to North America, if he chooses too.
I think it’s safe to start using the “B” word for Zagrapan. Keep in mind Zagrapan is the guy Buffalo got in the Crosby/Ryan draft with the same odds to land the #1 pick as Pittsburgh and Anaheim. It’s clear that Zagrapan has been a huge letdown, being leapfrogged on the depth chart by player after player despite high hopes from the front office.
There’s still a chance he sees time in a Sabres uniform, but at this point I’m calling “misfire.” I guess for every Drew Stafford there is a Marek Zagrapan.