The Kings have dipped their toes into the international free agent waters, announcing the signing of winger Vladimir Tkachyov to a one-year, entry-level contract. The deal is worth $832.5K in salary, per the team. PuckPedia reports that the deal also includes up to $850K in Schedule “A” performance bonuses.
The 25-year-old is coming off a strong season in the KHL, leading SKA St. Petersburg in scoring with 38 points in 45 regular season games while chipping in with eight more in 11 playoff contests. He has been a productive player in his seven-year KHL career, recording 185 points in 254 games.
If the name sounds familiar, Edmonton signed Tkachyov back in 2014 following the draft. However, that deal was rejected by the league after he was ruled ineligible for a free agent contract after spending part of the 2013-14 campaign in Russia before joining Moncton of the QMJHL. He spent one more year with the Wildcats and then returned home despite receiving more NHL interest at that time. Several teams have shown interest in him over the years as his contracts in Russia expired but he has decided that now is the optimal time to take a chance at playing in the NHL.
Tkachyov should push for a roster spot with the Kings next season and is experienced enough internationally that he could conceivably hold a middle-six role fairly quickly. Los Angeles will be able to get a look at what he can provide and if they like what they see, they’ll be able to control his rights as a restricted free agent through the 2022-23 season.