Arizona Coyotes forward Viktor Tikhonov has signed with SKA St. Petersburg in Russia’s KHL, the club announced Sunday. The team has not disclosed the terms of the agreement, but The Hockey Writers’ Aivis Kalnins reports that it’s a one-year deal.
The signing doesn’t come as a surprise after Tikhonov struggled in his return to the NHL last season. The 2008 1st round draft pick (28th overall) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks last summer but failed to provide the kind of secondary offense he was generating in the KHL before that.
— SKA Ice Hockey Club (@hcSKA_News) July 17, 2016
He played just 11 games with the Blackhawks without posting a point, before Chicago waived him in December. Tikhonov was claimed by the Coyotes, the team that drafted him in 2008. There, he was joined by fellow KHL transfer Sergei Plotnikov, who also didn’t manage to succeed in his first year of transitioning from the KHL to the NHL. In 39 games with Arizona, Tikhonov scored just three goals and six assists.
Unlike Plotnikov, Tikhonov wasn’t able to push play in the right direction when he wasn’t scoring. With a -2.7% CF%Rel, he was near the bottom of the team in possession.
With the move to SKA he will find himself playing alongside fellow former NHLer Pavel Datsyuk, who signed a two-year deal with SKA this summer.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.