The Flames have agreed to a contract with one of their prospects as agent Dan Milstein of Gold Star announced (Twitter link) that Calgary has signed center Ilya Nikolaev to a three-year, entry-level contract. Financial terms of the deal, which has since been confirmed by the club, were not disclosed.
The 20-year-old was a third-round pick of the Flames back in 2019 (88th overall) out of the Russian junior league. Last season, Nikolaev split the year between Russia’s MHL and VHL, their junior and second-tier pro leagues but he decided to try his hand in North America this year. Undrafted in either the CHL or USHL, he opted to sign with the latter, joining Tri-City. He did quite well at that level this season, recording 23 goals and 49 assists in 58 games and tied for the team lead in playoff scoring with five goals and three helpers in five contests.
Nikolaev will now turn pro with the Flames and will need some time in the minors. Calgary is expected to move their AHL affiliate from Stockton to somewhere in the Calgary area for next season so they’ll have a good opportunity to keep close tabs on Nikolaev’s development over the next three years.