Though it took longer than expected, the Calgary Flames have officially announced a one-year entry-level contract with Artyom Zagidulin. The two sides actually signed the deal on March 30th, but since Zagidulin’s KHL contract doesn’t expire until the end of April they likely had to wait for his team to terminate the deal.
Zagidulin, 23, recorded a .924 save percentage and 1.96 goals against average for Magnitogorsk this season, the first time he was given a hefty load. Those numbers actually improved in his four playoff games where he had a .928, and should bode well for his future in North America.
With the Flames still struggling to find answers in net and approaching an offseason where both Mike Smith (UFA) and David Rittich (RFA) are free agents, Zagidulin is joining the organization at the perfect time. While he likely won’t give them an NHL contribution right away, adding a young goaltender with upside is never a bad thing. He’ll battle with other netminders like Tyler Parsons, Nick Schnieder and Mason McDonald for playing time unless he can impress Bill Peters’ staff enough to break camp with the NHL club next fall.