Former St. Louis Blues, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Edmonton Oilers defenseman Nikita Nikitin has signed a one-year deal with Avangard Omsk of the KHL, the team announced today. Avangard Omsk is the only club Nikitin has played for at home in Russia, and his decision to sign with them at this point was pretty obvious.
Nikitin has spent the latest six seasons in the NHL, amassing a total of 259 games and 76 points. Last year he played mostly in the AHL with the Bakersfield Condors but managed also to play 11 games with the Oilers, who signed him to a two-year contract in 2014 with a cap hit of $4.5 million. Nikitin was originally a St. Louis Blues draft pick, selected in the fourth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
The defenseman, who turned 30 on June 16, has represented Russia on different occasions on the international stage, most notably at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. He also earned a silver medal at the 2006 WJC in Canada.
Nikitin isn’t the only NHL defenseman to have recently moved to Omsk, as earlier this summer they signed former Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Evgeni Medvedev.