The San Jose Sharks have employed the window to sign undrafted first-year draft eligible players by inking a promising forward prospect. The team announced this evening that they signed Vladislav Kotkov to an entry-level contract. Kotkov has been attending development camp with the Sharks this past week and did enough to earn a deal.
Kotkov, 18, was ranked 81st among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting heading into the 2018 NHL Draft and was one of the biggest surprises among undrafted players. Kotkov was a first-round pick in the CHL Import Draft last year and enjoyed success in his first season playing major junior, posting 49 points in 61 games for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the QMJHL.
The hulking winger stands 6’4″, 205 lbs. and plays a heavy power forward game that matches his frame. Kotkov also developed a surprising finesse game given his stature while developing in his native Russia. Kotkov’s skating concerns likely drove down his draft stock this year, but he was clearly a priority undrafted free agent for the Sharks and can now return to Chicoutimi for another year or two now with some additional guidance from his NHL squad. Kotkov is out to prove to the rest of the league that he was worthy of a draft pick. That chip on his shoulder and size that you can’t teach could mean that Kotkov could one day see NHL action.