Yuri Cheremetiev is being pushed to his limits in a bid to land a job in the Kontinental Hockey League.

The Halifax Mooseheads forward has spent the past two weeks at training camp with CSKA Moscow and is currently in Finland for the 10-day off-ice conditioning phase.

“It’s harder than any training camp I’ve ever been to, but it’s getting me into the best shape I’ve ever been in,” Cheremetiev told Metro Halifax. “Right now, my main focus is to get into the best shape I can for wherever I play next season. It will be the most important year of my career so far.”

That’s good news for the Mooseheads if Cheremetiev ends up coming back to Halifax in 2009-10. The 20-year-old tied for the team lead in scoring last season but said he is in contract talks with CSKA and could end up in Russia.

Cheremetiev, born in Moscow but raised in Stoughton, Mass., attended training camp with the Boston Bruins last season and has invites to several NHL camps this fall if things in Russia don’t pan out. He isn’t sure where he’ll end up.

“I will probably figure that out some time in August,” he said.

CSKA picked Cheremetiev 33rd overall in June’s inaugural KHL draft. The KHL is considered the world’s second best league, with a minimum salary of more than US$100,000.