The San Jose Sharks have signed defenceman Nikolai Knyzhov to an entry-level contract, the team announced Tuesday.
Knyzhov, 21, spent the last season in three different Russian leagues, including three games with SKA St. Petersburgh in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He played most of his games with the SKA-Neva St. Petersburg team in the VHL, recording one goal, five points and a plus-16 rating in 46 games.
“Knyzhov is a young, skilled defenseman who represented Russia at the world juniors and made several improvements in his game throughout the season to make it onto his KHL team,” said Sharks general manager Wilson in a press release. “He’s a smooth skater who can use his speed and physicality to disrupt the opposition. We are excited to have him join our organization.”
Before his time in Russia, Knyzhov played 19 games with the Regina Pats in the Western Hockey League, registering one assist in the 2015-16 season. He also appeared in the North American Hockey League over two seasons, posting three assists in 21 games.