Sharks defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov has had nothing but bad luck on the injury front lately. He missed all of last season due to a core muscle injury and now the start of 2022-23 will be delayed as well as the team announced that the blueliner tore his right Achilles tendon in offseason training and underwent surgery on Wednesday. The procedure carries an estimated recovery time of six months.
Back in 2020-21, the 24-year-old established himself as a full-timer on San Jose’s back end as he played in all 56 games, picking up 10 points while logging a little under 17 minutes of playing time. Those numbers aren’t eye-popping by any stretch but for a team that was tight to the salary cap, having a regular player under contract for less than $800K was ideal from a cap management perspective.
The Sharks signed Knyzhov to a one-year, $850K one-way deal back in April with the hopes that he’d be able to reclaim his spot on the third pairing. Clearly, that won’t be the case now as he’ll be out for at least the first half of the season and probably longer. San Jose will be able to put Knyzhov on LTIR which will give them a little bit of extra cap flexibility, especially with the team already carrying some extra depth in goal, up front, and on the back end,