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Will Emil Galimov Ever Play for the Sharks?



Credit: afokin52 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Most Mondays this off-season, we’ll do a Sharks Prospects Update.

It’s not every day that a college hockey player earns SportsCenter’s top play, much less a freshman:

But second-round selection Thomas Bordeleau isn’t the only 2020 San Jose Sharks draft pick who’s made a fantastic NCAA debut: Alex Young scored a highlight reel goal for Colgate in his first game.

That’s said, let’s focus on a draft pick from seven years ago: Will Emil Galimov ever play for the San Jose Sharks?

But before we share what a San Jose Hockey Now source says about that, let’s run down how Sharks players and prospects are producing around the world:

PlayerLeagueTeamGamesGoalsAssistsPointsTOIWinsLossesSave %
Jonathan DahlenAllsvenskanTimrå IK97121918:51
Joel KellmanAllsvenskanKristianstads IK1432520:02
Marcus SorensenAllsvenskanHC Vita Hästen1411132423:06
Josef KorenarCzechHC Ocelari Trinec5310.881
Adam RaskaCzechHC Ocelari Trinec20009:11
Adam RaskaCzech 2HC Frydek-Mistek7011
Joachim BlichfeldDenmarkFrederikshavn White Hawks522419:43
Alexander TrueDenmarkRungsted Seier Capital1000
Ivan ChekhovichKHLTorpedo Nizhny Novgorod1034717:45
Emil GalimovKHLSKA St. Petersburg1043717:14
Alexei MelnichukKHLTorpedo Nizhny Novgorod10350.91
Yegor SpiridonovKHLSKA St. Petersburg20007:47
Tony SundKHLDinamo Riga1708819:40
Santeri HatakkaLiigaIlves1712315:04
Timur IbragimovLiigaTPS1250411:13
Antti SuomelaLiigaHIFK823519:00
Artemi KniazevMHLIrbis Kazan210118:42
Yegor SpiridonovMHLSKA-1946 St. Petersburg724618:15
Thomas BordeleauNCAAMichigan4257
Scott ReedyNCAAMinnesota2202
Alex YoungNCAAColgate1101
Zachary EmondQMJHLRouyn-Noranda Huskies8250.884
Fredrik HandemarkSHLMalmö Redhawks1527917:59
Linus ObergSHLÖrebro HK1870613:44
Danil GushchinUSHLMuskegon Lumberjacks4538
Artemi KniazevVHLBars Kazan301115:30
Yegor SpiridonovVHLSKA-Neva St. Petersburg321310:28

Through 2017, Galimov hadn’t really made much of a case for NHL duty. Playing mostly for Lokomotiv, the 2013 seventh-round pick hadn’t risen above a bottom-six role.

This changed in 2017-18, however, when a return to his hometown Neftekhimik resulted in career highs in goals (15, leading the team) and time on ice (17:19 per game) for the playoff-bound KHL side.

This breakout campaign, however, didn’t exactly ignite the 6-foot-2 winger’s career: He endured a relatively unproductive follow-up season and rebounded in limited icetime in 2019-20, notching 14 goals in fourth-line minutes.

The currently-injured Galimov is off to a strong start this season for a second-place SKA squad — the 28-year-old’s 17:14 is third among all SKA forwards.

Suffice to say, for a San Jose Sharks forward group that needs all the NHL-ready talent it can get, the late bloomer’s development has to at least qualify as intriguing.

Unfortunately for the Sharks, Galimov may never be more than an intrigue. According to a Russian source, he’s under contract with SKA until 2022. After 2022, he’ll be a free agent but “there is little chance that he will sign in North America.”

Why not?

“I’m not sure that he will want to go to the NHL at 30,” the source shared.

It makes sense — there’s not exactly an extensive history of non-elite KHL forwards coming over and making an NHL impact in Galimov’s age range.

So what’s his fate? It appears Galimov will be one of many, an NHL-caliber talent destined to never play an NHL game.

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