Victoria Royals Sign Russian Forward Igor Zborovskiy
Victoria, BC - Igor Zborovskiy is going to be a player to watch this season.
After a week of participating in both the rookie and main camps, the native of Moscow, Russia proved he is a driving offensive force, scoring a team leading four goals and three assists. His performance and attitude are exactly what the Royals are looking for and it was no surprise on Monday that the team signed him to a WHL Standard Playing Agreement (SPA).
"Igor is a determined and tenacious player, with a strong work ethic and quality of character. He is fast and physical, and he compliments his physical play with an accurate shot and consistent net front presence. He has worked hard for this opportunity and this is a well-earned step forward in his hockey career."
Zborovskiy came to Canada three years ago with the intention of playing in the CHL and when you talk to the 17-year-old, you can see the passion he has for his game, the team and the sport.
"You can see it. I'm super excited," Zborovskiy said. "I came to Canada to play in the CHL. I'm so happy to sign with the Royals. It's a nice place to play."
Over the last few seasons, Zborovskiy has played for the CIHA Voyageurs of the Hockey Eastern Ontario League (HEO) and the Toronto Red Wings of the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL). In 35 games with the Red Wings, he recorded 10 goals and 12 assists. The Fort McMurray resident went on to play with the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Male AAA Hockey League (SMAAAHL) for the 2020-21 season which was cut short due to the pandemic.
Because of travel restrictions resulting from the pandemic, he hasn't been home to Russia in over a year, but he remains in close contact with his parents despite the time difference.
"My parents are so proud of me. They didn't sleep all week during camp," Zborovskiy said excitedly. "It was late at night in Russia after every game, but I called them to let them know I didn't get cut and I was still with the team."
The 6'1 and 170 lb forward signed his WHL SPA late in the day on Monday when it was 3 a.m. in Russia and he couldn't wait to call his parents.
"They're sleeping now but they're going to be so excited," he told Royals staff.
The next morning, his phone was bombarded with congratulatory calls and texts after his parents had spread the news.
While he is incredibly excited, Zborovskiy knows that the hard work has just begun.
"I think we will have a good season and improve every day. We have a great team and I think we have a lot of fun together and are hard to play against."
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