The San Jose Sharks have dipped their toes into European free agency a bit early, signing Lukas Radil to a one-year deal that starts next season. The 27-year old forward recently suited up for the Czech Republic at the Olympics, and has been playing in the KHL for three seasons. Even if the contract began this season, Radil would not be playoff eligible for the Sharks.
Sharks GM Doug Wilson spoke about Radil in the press release:
Lukas is a big-bodied, puck possession forward who has been playing professional hockey at a high level for seven-plus seasons. He is coming off his most successful year yet, and has represented his country on the world’s biggest stages. We feel his game will translate well to the way we play and we’re excited to welcome him to San Jose next season.
That successful year that Wilson mentions was a big one, as Radil registered 38 points in 53 games for Moscow Spartak. That trailed only former AHL dynamo and Boston Bruins second-round pick Alexander Khokhlachev for the team lead.
Radil is a big-bodied forward who was a solid contributor at both even strength and on the powerplay, and could step right into a bottom-six role for the Sharks next season. There is no reason to think that he will turn into a real impact forward right away, but adding NHL-caliber players on reasonable deals adds depth to any team. Radil will turn 28 in August, meaning he won’t be restricted by the entry-level contract system. No word has been released on the financial details of the contract.