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BREAKING: Chmelevski Signs in KHL



Credit: AP Photo

That’s one way to cull the field.

Sasha Chmelevski has signed a one-year contract with Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the KHL, according to his agent Dan Milstein.

The San Jose Sharks will retain the 23-year-old forward’s rights after the 2022-23 season.

Milstein told San Jose Hockey Now that RFA Chmelevski passed on San Jose’s qualifying offer.

“We talked to his agent and told him our stance on things with him,” Sharks GM Mike Grier said. “He and his agent thought it would be best for him to go play in Europe. I have to do what I feel is best for the organization, on the other side of it, the agent is trying to do what he thinks is best for his clients. At the end of the day, hopefully it works out for Sasha, but this is the path he’s chosen to go down right now.”

The San Jose Sharks appear to be stocked up front entering this season, though it should be noted that quantity doesn’t necessarily equate to playoff-quality.

The Sharks had 20 forwards with a reasonable claim for an NHL job next year, more established veterans like Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture, Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc, Luke Kunin, Oskar Lindblom, Alexander Barabanov, Nick Bonino, Nico Sturm, and Matt Nieto, and less experienced forwards like William Eklund, Thomas Bordeleau, Steven Lorentz, Max Veronneau, Noah Gregor, Sasha Chmelevski, Jasper Weatherby, Scott Reedy, Jonah Gadjovich, and Jeffrey Viel.

Scratch Chmelevski from a crowded competition. You would presume that the center-winger is getting paid more by Salavat Yulaev than his $787,500 qualifying offer – and that he’s in line for more playing time in Russia. This could be a way for the San Jose Sharks prospect to up his value this season instead of being forced to make do with scraps of NHL ice time or deal with the uncertainty of his fit with the new GM’s vision of the team.

The Huntington Beach native is also of Ukrainian descent and can speak Russian.

The Sharks’ 2017 sixth-round draft pick made his NHL debut during the 2020-21 season, registering two assists in five games. He appeared to be getting more comfortable in the NHL this past season, putting up eight assists in 19 games. He hasn’t scored an NHL goal yet.

Chmelevski Processing Game Faster Than Ever

That said, there was no clear spot in the Sharks’ line-up for Chmelevski right now. Perhaps there will be after playing a season under head coach (and former San Jose Sharks first-round pick) Viktor Kozlov in Ufa.

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I can only hope, as a Sharks fan that he can up his game and return. Personally, he’s been a favorite of mine but as you said, he’s been pushed out.

Go Sharks!!


Was his qualifying offer 2-way with a low minors salary? I’m surprised he would make more than 800k in the KHL with everything going on roght now in the world.

I thought he looked good at the end of the year and was hoping he could win a 4th line spot. I pray they dont decide to ice a 4th line with both Viel and Gadjovich that scores a combined 8 goals on the year.

david barnard

it was probably going to be structured similarly to Viel’s with a minimum guaranteed around $300K.

Brian Schmonsees

Its probably going to be Lorentz, Sturm and one of either Reedy/Weatherby/Gadjovich or Viel on the 4th line. Only so many spots to go around.


An Ukrainian American chooses to play in Russia. During a war. Even with all the playing time and money in the world I can’t understand it.


Because you watch too much MSNBC news and believe everything “they” say. What’s going on is between governments not the people – big difference. Hope you don’t hate on Barabanov because he’s Russian. I believe if Chmelevski and his family feel comfortable in the decision to play in Russia then that needs to be respected not judged.


Sadly, this is not true at all. A significant portion of Russian population is actively supporting the invasion. With options such as Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, etc, I cannot understand for a second why would anyone choose Russia. I can only hope that Sasha will do well and will be safe.


That wasn’t my point. My point was that a negative comment was made against Chmelevski one of the nicest hard working talented kids as if money was more important than the lives of people and that bothered me. Why would anyone choose Russia? What about America’s involvement in biolabs in Ukraine and what those labs have done to the Ukraine people? So then it would beg to ask the same type of question why would Ukrainians want to play in the NHL? Below is a link – read it and critically think about the commentary and research yourself. I pray… Read more »


Sasha may have Ukrainian bloodlines, but he’s fully Americanized, having been born and raised in one of the wealthiest Southern Californian locales of Huntington Beach. It’s possible his family lived in a mobile home park in that area, but I doubt it. Hockey is not a cheap sport to play. When he was 12, the family moved to Northville, Michigan, a wealthy suburb west of Detroit and maybe 15mi east of Ann Arbor. Northville is not a bad spot to live to further your son’s aspirations in hockey, being in the vicinity of the nation’s best youth hockey (all around… Read more »


I dunno did ya read about the Flyers goalie?

“ Philadelphia Flyers goaltending prospect Ivan Fedotov, who reportedly was picked up by law enforcement in Russia last week ahead of a planned move to the U.S., is now at a remote military base in northern Russia, his agent said Tuesday.

The agent, J.P. Barry, spoke with The Associated Press amid speculation about Fedotov’s well-being. The situation raised fresh concerns over whether Russian players will be willing or able to join National Hockey League teams that draft them this week as the war in Ukraine continues.”

david barnard

wow, that’s savage!

david barnard

easy enough to understand based on management’s moves and this comment from GMMG: “We talked to his agent and told him our stance on things with him,” Sharks GM Mike Grier said. “He and his agent thought it would be best for him to go play in Europe. I have to do what I feel is best for the organization, on the other side of it, the agent is trying to do what he thinks is best for his clients. At the end of the day, hopefully it works out for Sasha, but this is the path he’s chosen to… Read more »

Screenshot 2022-07-26 at 18-09-11 Projected Player Salaries 2021 – 2022 – 2112Hockeyagency.png

KHL is a strong league. Look at Karill the Thrill he stayed in the KHL league and developed into a great player. Love watching that kid skate. Look what happened to Eklund what the team he played on last place? Didn’t help Eklund at all and not sure if Eklund had the right attitude going back either. Quinn made a statement that I said to self “yep that’s it”. These 18 yr old have played a certain way and trying to show and explain that that way does not work now is hard. Chmleveski I believed tried too hard and… Read more »

david barnard

got cut off for some reason. no matter how i try to ss the top gets cut off. anyway, KHL players make between $100k-1.2M per season.


Well they are a larger commie country that steals a lot of money from the citizens like ya know our country – how do you think the NBA and NFL still function? Now the NHL sells its soul to the Disney and TicTock. – it’s all about how they can move money to their coffers Sasha wants to play in a league that will best develop him and he speaks Russian – plus the coach of the team he is going to was a first round pick by the Sharks “ Salavat Yulaev Ufa competes in the Eastern Conference of… Read more »

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