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A reliable defenseman just signed elsewhere


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Will Bloggs
July 4, 2024  (11:05 PM)
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Nikita Zaitsev just secured a deal in Europe
Photo credit: The Hockey Writers

UFA's Nikita Zaitsev return to the KHL with SKA St. Petersburg marks a significant shift in his career after a challenging tenure in the NHL.

Once considered a crucial part of the Toronto Maple Leafs' future defensive lineup, Zaitsev struggled to maintain his form after signing a substantial 7-year, $31.5 million contract in 2017.
His performance decline led to a trade to the Ottawa Senators, where he spent four seasons before moving to the Chicago Blackhawks for the last two seasons of his NHL career. Zaitsev's NHL stats include 22 goals and 118 points in 482 regular-season games, along with two assists in 18 playoff games, all with the Maple Leafs.
Returning to the KHL, where he previously played for five seasons before joining the NHL, Zaitsev has now signed a four-year contract with SKA St. Petersburg. This move gives him a fresh start and an opportunity to reinvigorate his career in his home country.
Source: Maple Leafs Daily
Ex-Leafs defenseman heading to Europe after being unable to secure an NHL deal
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A reliable defenseman just signed elsewhere

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