Nikolai Knyzhov is taking another big step back to the San Jose Sharks.
Today, the Sharks assigned Knyzhov to the San Jose Barracuda on a conditioning loan. Per the CBA, this loan will last, at most, two weeks.
The Barracuda play five games over the next two weeks, starting on Jan. 25 in Henderson. They also have a Jan. 27 tilt in Henderson and a Jan. 28 contest in Bakersfield. On Feb. 3 and Feb. 4, the Abbotsford Canucks come to Tech CU Arena.
Per a source, Knyzhov will make his season debut on Jan. 25.
After Knyzhov completes his conditioning assignment, we’ll see if he’s ready for NHL action again. The San Jose Sharks’ first game after their All-Star and bye week is Feb. 7 in Tampa Bay.
Will Knyzhov be ready for that?
Considering that it has been 20 months since Knyzhov’s last game – he’s dealt with hernia surgery, an infection from that surgery, groin surgery, and a torn Achilles since then – the San Jose Sharks and Knyzhov will likely err on the side of caution before his return to NHL action.
However you slice it though, this conditioning assignment and return to play for the Barracuda is a good sign that Knyzhov’s recovery is on track.
In late December, a source indicated to San Jose Hockey Now that the target date for Knyzhov’s return was late January or February, and it appears that the 24-year-old defenseman could very well meet that timeline.
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