After turning down the Minnesota Wild, Nikita Nesterenko has decided to turn pro with the Anaheim Ducks. Acquired as part of the John Klingberg deal, Nesterenko recently finished his junior season with Boston College.
The sixth-round pick scored 34 points in 36 games this season, and enters the Ducks’ system as an intriguing mix of size and scoring ability. Now 21, the Ducks have announced he is signing a three-year contract that starts this season and will immediately report to Anaheim to start his career.
That would mean his contract runs through 2024-25, though there is some confusion over whether or not that is possible. As PuckPedia notes, Nesterenko’s September 10 birthday (when he will turn 22) would normally limit him to a two-year entry-level deal, meaning this year and 2023-24, making him an RFA next summer. Either way, the Ducks, who aren’t competing for anything this year, can let him get his feet wet before deciding where to assign him next year.
The Brooklyn native scored 77 points over his 97-game NCAA career, racking up 86 penalty minutes along the way. At the time of the trade, Michael Russo of The Athletic indicated that there had been “talk” that Nesternko didn’t plan on signing with the Wild, and would have tested free agency.