Ben Scrivens signs KHL deal with Dinamo Minsk
Known for his off-ice social contributions as much as he was for his on-ice play, goaltender Ben Scrivens has been a fixture around the NHL for the last handful of seasons.
Now, though, he’s embarking on a new journey overseas.
It was officially reported by KHL club Dinamo Minsk on Monday that Scrivens, who finished his 2015-16 season with the Montreal Canadiens of the Atlantic Division, has inked a deal to play next season in the Belarusian capital city.
The team confirmed that he’ll join his former teammate from Edmonton, Rob Klinkhammer, who has also signed a deal for the upcoming season.
Undrafted at the NHL level, Scrivens joined the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2010, splitting his first pro season between the AHL’s Toronto Marlies and the ECHL’s Reading Royals after four years playing at Cornell University.
The Alberta native made his NHL debut during just his second pro hockey season, appearing in 12 NHL games with Toronto during the 2011-12 campaign. He wouldn’t stay in Toronto’s system for long, though, ultimately getting moved out in the deal that brought Jonathan Bernier to Ontario in the summer of 2013.
Although Scrivens did well in a backup role with the Los Angeles Kings for a year – putting up a .931 save percentage during a 19-game stint – he struggled at his next stop, posting poor numbers during his first full year as a member of the Edmonton Oilers.
He would ultimately see his career head to the AHL with the Bakersfield Condors early last season, then he’d move to the Montreal Canadiens for the final part of the year. His inability to save either Edmonton or Montreal from themselves, whether or not the blame fully deserves to sit on his shoulders, likely resulted in his departure overseas this summer.
A strong ally of the You Can Play program for LGBTQ athlete community, it’s a bummer to see Scrivens head for Europe this season. After two consecutive poor outings with the Oilers and Canadiens, though, this could be the move that gets his career back on track – which could either lead to a deal back in North America in coming seasons or to his ability to stop playing in the future on a high note. Hopefully, the 29-year-old netminder will be able to have a positive impact on his new community, as well.