While there has been rumors of the New Jersey Devils intention of signing KHL defenseman Yegor Yakovlev this offseason, no deal has happened. However, international journalist Igor Eronko spoke to New Jersey’s general manager Ray Shero, who confirmed that the team hopes to sign the defenseman after the IIHF World Championships.
“We haven’t officially signed him yet, but once IIHF Worlds is over, we’ll see coming back on Monday. Hopefully we can finalize something,” Shero said.
Yakovlev also said that he is eager to sign with the Devils, according to Eronko.
“The Devils have scouted me for 3 years,” Yakovlev said. “They really wanted to see me on the team. That’s why I chose New Jersey and I’m really happy to join the organization. I know they play a fast smart hockey and I like it.”
The 26-year-old defenseman could continue to add depth to a team that more than a year ago had little defensive options. In the last year, the team has upgraded some of its defenders with college free agent Will Butcher, who had a solid rookie season, as well as trading for Sami Vatanen from the Anaheim Ducks.
Yakovlev has spent the last three years playing for KHL powerhouse SKA St. Petersburg. He tallied five goals and nine points in 35 regular season games and also played in the Olympics this year in Pyeongchang for the Russian team that won the gold medal.