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Former Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev signs in the KHL


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Julien Trekker
May 21, 2024  (1:28 PM)
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Nikita Zaitsev with the Toronto Maple Leafs in action against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Photo credit: Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers

The former defenseman of the Toronto Maple Leafs Nikita Zaitsev is set to leave North America as he signed a contract in the KHL.

Following an eight-year career in the NHL, where he represented the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators and Chicago Blackhawks between 2016 and 2024, it was announced that Nikita Zaitsev is set to return to Russia to pursue his hockey career in the KHL, with SKA St. Petersburg.
Before coming over to the NHL, Zaitsev spent seven seasons in the KHL, between 2009 and 2016, for the CSKA Moscow and the Novosibirsk Sibir.
According to Puck Empire:
"It appears as though once highly-touted defenseman Nikita Zaitsev 🇷🇺 is done in North America, as he is signing a three-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg (KHL) 🇷🇺

Zaitsev, 32, had two goals, seven points through 38 games played with Chicago this season.

This will be the third club that Zaitsev has played for in the KHL, and the first time he will be playing in the top-flight Russian league since 2015-16."


His final season in the NHL was marked by injuries. He took part in only 38 games in Chicago, and scored seven points.
Do you think that the former Maple Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev will return in the NHL before he retires?
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MAY 21   |   488 ANSWERS
Former Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev signs in the KHL

Do you think that the former Maple Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev will return in the NHL before he retires?

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