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Nikita Zaitsev leaves the NHL to sign with SKA St. Petersburg


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Tom Banks
July 4, 2024  (10:56)
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Nikita Zaitsev, formerly of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Photo credit: Sporting News

After a solid NHL career that began way back in 2016 with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Russian defenseman Nikita Zaitsev is now heading home on a four-year deal.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have often done a great job at identifying talent from overseas, and that was on full display when they landed Nikita Zaitsev back in 2016 on a deal that would see him have his two best career years in Toronto.
Now, after spending six years between Ottawa and Chicago, the 32-year old defenseman is officially heading back to the KHL, as he has signed a four-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg.
Nikita Zaitsev is heading home to Russia on a four-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg. He played eight seasons in the NHL with Chicago, Ottawa and Toronto.

The deal will take him through to his age-36 season, and given the decline in play in recent years, that may mean it's the last we've seen of him in the NHL, as he tallied just 10 points in 56 games with Chicago over the past two years.
Nikita Zaitsev has signed a 4-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL.

After a solid career that saw him make lots of money and contribute fantastic hockey to the NHL, perhaps this is the way he wanted his career to end, and if that's the case, we look forward to him starring in the KHL in the coming years.
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Nikita Zaitsev leaves the NHL to sign with SKA St. Petersburg

Will we see Nikita Zaitsev in the NHL after this stint with SKA St. Petersburg?

Yes18228 %
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