Though it had been expected for a while, Nikita Scherbak officially signed in the KHL today after failing to receive a qualifying offer from the Los Angeles Kings. Scherbak inked a three-year contract with Avangard Omsk, ending his NHL career for at least the time being.
Scherbak, 23, was selected in the first round by the Montreal Canadiens back in 2014 but was never able to live up to that top prospect status. The Russian winger was a strong offensive weapon in the minor leagues, but registered just eight points in his 37 NHL contests. Eight of those came with the Kings after he was claimed off waivers in December, but by January he had been waived again and sent to the minor leagues to finish the season with the Ontario Reign.
An unrestricted free agent now that he was not given a qualifying offer, there is potential for a return to North America one day for the speedy winger. That won’t come for at least a few years, but perhaps if he can develop his game further back home and find some of what made him such a high draft pick in the first place there will be another team that is willing to take a chance on him.
Code name: “mutual” contract termination…the epidemic continues…