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San Jose Sharks sign coveted KHL goalie Alexei Melnichuk

Pro Hockey Rumors logo Pro Hockey Rumors 5/4/2020 Gavin Lee, Pro Hockey Rumors
a person wearing a uniform: The Sharks have won the Alexei Melnichuk sweepstakes. © Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images The Sharks have won the Alexei Melnichuk sweepstakes.

The San Jose Sharks have won the race for KHL goaltender Alexei Melnichuk, signing him to an entry-level contract according to his agent Dan Milstein. San Jose had been one of several teams pursuing the young goaltender, who is coming off an excellent debut in the KHL.

In 16 appearances this season, Melnichuk recorded a 1.68 goals-against average and .930 save percentage. Though KHL save numbers are often higher than those in the NHL, the 21-year-old still more than held his ground as a rookie for St. Petersburg and obviously has a bright future.

Because Melnichuk turns 22 this summer, the deal will be a two-year entry-level contract. The Sharks already do have a few goaltending prospects in their system, but because of his pro experience in Russia, Melnichuk may actually jump to the top of the line.

It’s important to remember with this signing that Aaron Dell, who has served as an NHL backup for the last several seasons, is scheduled for unrestricted free agency. There will likely be an opportunity with the team in the short term, perhaps one that the young Russian will get a crack at.

a person wearing a uniform: The Sharks have won the Alexei Melnichuk sweepstakes. © Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images The Sharks have won the Alexei Melnichuk sweepstakes.

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