The 25-year-old has battled significant injury trouble in recent years. Two sports hernia surgeries, an adductor repair, and a bone infection cost him the entire 2021-22 campaign. Then, in August of 2022, Knyzhov tore his Achilles tendon doing off-ice training which kept him out of the lineup until March.
He returned to play a dozen games with San Jose down the stretch where he was limited to a third-pairing role. Nonetheless, GM Mike Grier saw fit to sign him to a two-year, $2.5MM contract extension that runs through the 2024-25 campaign.
This season, Knyzhov has been a regular on the Sharks roster but not in their lineup as he has suited up in just ten games so far. He has a single assist in those appearances along with 17 blocks and nine hits while averaging 17:39 per contest. With his contract and injury history, it’d be a bit surprising to see him get claimed but a demotion to the AHL’s Barracuda could be a good opportunity for him to see more regular action and play a bigger role as he looks to work his way toward becoming a full-time NHL regular as he was in the 2020-21 season.
Earlier today, Max Miller of The Hockey News relayed (Twitter link) that the Sharks placed Luke Kunin on injured reserve with an upper-body injury, opening a roster spot. Knyzhov’s removal from the roster tomorrow will create a second. With Alexander Barabanov and Jan Rutta believed to be close to a return, these moves appear to be the precursors to activating them off IR.