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San Jose Sharks

Sharks Waive Knyzhov, Place Kunin on IR

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Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

The San Jose Sharks have waived Nikolai Knyzhov.

It’s been a tough start to the season for the 6-foot-3 defenseman.

Signed to a two-year, $2.5 million contract in March, the hope was that the 25-year-old blueliner would take the next step after some health issues and establish himself as an everyday NHL’er.

Instead, Knyzhov has been a frequent healthy scratch, seemingly surpassed on the depth chart by other young defenders like Calen Addison, Ty Emberson, and Nikita Okhotiuk.

In 10 games, Knyzhov has averaged 17:39 a night and recorded one assist.

If Knyzhov clears waivers, he will benefit from receiving more playing time with the San Jose Barracuda.

There’s also a chance that a team will claim him, taking a shot on Knyzhov’s still intriguing blend of size and skating.

The San Jose Sharks could benefit from the roster spot created via Knyzhov. They also placed Luke Kunin on IR today with an upper-body injury.

That opens up two roster spots for perhaps injured wingers Alexander Barabanov and Filip Zadina, which could make for a full 23-man roster. Both Barabanov and Zadina are traveling with the San Jose Sharks, and there’s optimism that they’ll play at some point on this road trip.

Defenseman Jan Rutta is also a strong candidate to come off the IR.

So two of those three could return to action as soon as tomorrow against the New York Rangers.

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