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1/24/2007 11:07:07 AM

Edmonton Oilers prospect Alexei Mikhnov has returned to Russia, according to a report in the Edmonton Journal.

Mikhnov, 24, was a first-round pick of the Oilers in 2000 and finally made his North American debut this season. He will return to his Russian Super League team in Yaroslavl.

"This was a mutual decision we retain his rights and still might bring him back this summer," Oilers assistant general manager Scott Howson told the paper. "If he was going to be called up by us, he would probably be behind (Zack) Stortini, (J.F.) Jacques and (Marc-Antoine) Pouliot."

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