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BREAKING: Karlis Cukste Signs with San Jose Barracuda

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Credit: San Jose Barracuda

Following up on a report from Latvian reporter Ulvis Brože, San Jose Hockey Now has confirmed with Karlis Cukste himself that he has signed with the San Jose Barracuda for the 2020-21 season.

Cukste was a 2015 San Jose Sharks fifth-round pick. Two weeks ago, SJHN broke the news that the Sharks were passing on giving the 23-year-old defenseman an entry-level deal, forfeiting his NHL rights.

Still in question is where Cukste will play until the 2020-21 AHL season begins. A month ago, reports circulated that Cukste was practicing with KHL side Dinamo Riga.

While the odds are against Cukste making the NHL, the the ex-Quinnipiac University standout can look to Colin Blackwell (2011 Draft Pick #194) and Frazer McLaren (2007 #203) as San Jose Sharks draft picks who weren’t offered ELCs, signed with San Jose’s AHL team, and eventually made the NHL.

More on this story as it develops.

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