The San Jose Sharks signed goaltender Alexei Melnichuk to a two-year, entry-level contract on Monday, the team announced.
Melnichuk, 21, played with SKA St. Petersburg in the Kontinental Hockey League this season. He went 8-5-1, posting a 1.68 goals-against average to go with a .930 save percentage before the season was canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Melnichuk, who played for Russia in the 2018 World Junior Championship, gives San Jose options in net, as well as some youth, given that the Sharks’ two current goaltenders, Martin Jones and Aaron Dell, are both 30.
“Alexei was being pursued by a number of teams, and we’re pleased that he decided to join the Sharks,” San Jose general manager Doug Wilson told the team’s website. “He has a unique blend of athleticism and technical play and has impressed at each level he has advanced.”
Wilson also noted the upside in Melnichuk working with Sharks goaltending development coach Evgeni Nabokov, who won 353 games in a 14-year NHL career.
San Jose also added some depth up front Monday, signing center Fredrik Handemark, 26, to an entry-level contract. Handemark has played the past five seasons in the Swedish Hockey League.