Continuing a bit of a churn of the Calgary Flames’ depth group this off-season, sources have confirmed to FlamesNation that defenseman Alexander Yelesin has signed with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League. Championat in Russia first reported on Yelesin’s potential move back to his home country back in May and earlier this month.
Yelesin signed an entry-level deal with the Flames two seasons ago. He split the 2019-20 season between Calgary and the AHL’s Stockton Heat, with five points in 38 AHL games, and 2020-21 entirely with Stockton, with seven points in 28 AHL games. He played four NHL games with the Flames as a mid-year call-up due to injuries in 2019-20 and was solid if unspectacular as a third pairing fill-in.
He didn’t take a hoped-for step forward in 2020-21 and spent the season behind Michael Stone and Alex Petrovic in terms of right shot call-up defensemen, playing most of campaign in Stockton on the second pairing. With Ilya Solovyov, Johannes Kinnvall and Yan Kuznetsov joining the system in 2021-22, it seems like a smart move for Yelesin to return home to a familiar spot with his hometown team as there was a distinct possibility he could get lost in the shuffle.
Yelesin is the third Flames property to sign in Europe this off-season, following Carl-Johan Lerby (Malmo, SHL) and Joakim Nordstrom (CSKA Moscow, KHL).