It took longer than expected but Anton Belov has arrived at Edmonton Oilers training camp.

The Russian defenceman was planning on being in town well prior to camp but delays at the Canadian embassy stalled the process.

“It’s good to finally be here” said Belov after skating with the Oilers for the first time Monday. “It was a long trip to Edmonton.

“I had to wait for my visa for two and-a-half months because of an embassy strike. Now everything has worked out I’m OK and I’m glad to be part of the team.”

Belov 27 arrived in Edmonton Sunday night after an arduous travel day. He flew from Moscow to Toronto sat in immigration for 31/2 hours and then made the final leg into Edmonton. He’ll soon be joined by his wife and infant daughter.

“The trip was about 20 hours in total” Belov said. “My legs feel a little heavy.”

A native of Ryazan Russia Belov spent the last five years with Avangard Omsk of the KHL. Last season the six-foot-three 185-pound defenceman scored nine goals and added 17 assists in 46 games for Omsk.

He signed with the Oilers this off-season wanting to make a move to the NHL.

“In all my hockey career I had one dream and that was to play in the NHL” Belov said. “I had never been drafted and now the GM Craig MacTavish has given me a chance. I will try to do everything to play with Edmonton.”

Belov represents the ninth defenceman the Oilers have under an NHL contract. His one-year two-way deal will pay him $925000 to play in the NHL and $70000 in Oklahoma City.

He won’t take part in the preseason game in Winnipeg Tuesday or Vancouver Wednesday but could be in the lineup Saturday at Rexall Place against the Canucks.