September 16: After seeing his contract terminated, Kotkov is headed back to the KHL as expected. The young forward has signed a two-year deal with CSKA Moscow of the KHL. An unrestricted free agent, if he ever wants to return to North America he will not be limited to the Sharks.
September 11: The Sharks are parting ways with one of their prospects as Sheng Peng of San Jose Hockey Now reports (Twitter link) that they have placed winger Vladislav Kotkov on unconditional waivers for the purposes of contract termination.
The 21-year-old went undrafted in 2018 but did well enough as an invite to San Jose’s development camp to earn an entry-level deal just two weeks after the draft. He spent last season playing his final year in the QMJHL, notching nine goals and ten assists in 16 games with Saint John while chipping in with four assists in five playoff contests. Kotkov also got into one AHL playoff game with the Barracuda.
With two years remaining on his contract, this news is a little surprising as Kotkov is still young enough to be considered a viable NHL prospect and with just two career AHL contests under his belt, it’s not as if he has played enough for San Jose to give up on him. Speculatively, there may be an offer waiting for him back home and if San Jose, who is fairly tight to the 50-contract limit once expected slides are factored in, didn’t want to loan him to play overseas where he’d still count against the limit, then this course of action makes sense. If Kotkov passes through unclaimed, the Sharks will be able to terminate his contract on Sunday.