Nikolai Knyzhov has been back on the ice for a few weeks now.
At the end of last season, Knyzhov revealed he had been playing with a sports hernia that would require surgery. This surgery would also keep him from representing Team Russia at the World Championships.
“I’ve been working out for a [couple months] now and been feeling great,” Knyzhov told San Jose Hockey Now from Arizona in mid-July.
The 23-year-old defenseman also revealed a second minor surgery besides his sports hernia: “I also had my ankle done. They just basically took away scar tissue from it.”
Knyzhov says he’s fully recovered from both surgeries, good news for a San Jose Sharks squad that’s counting on him to soak up top-four minutes again after a surprising rookie campaign.
So what’s Knyzhov doing in Arizona? The gregarious youngster — who also happens to be a great storyteller — talked about that, while sharing some of the highs and lows in a hockey career that’s already taken him from Siberia to Arizona to Regina to San Jose.
Knyzhov also was an open book about the junk food diet that held him back in his first season in the AHL, when he realized he could really hang at an NHL level, and the most important thing that he’s learned from defensive partner Erik Karlsson.
Sheng’s Travel Fund
Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.