Calgary Flames acquire Russian defenceman Nikita Okhotiuk from San Jose

Photo credit:Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
4 months ago
The Calgary Flames have made a move on deadline day. Per Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, the club has acquired defenceman Nikita Okhotiuk from the San Jose Sharks for a 2024 fifth-round draft choice.
Headed to San Jose is whichever fifth-round pick the Flames acquire from Vancouver (as part of the Nikita Zadorov trade), which is the higher of the two picks Chicago currently owns – their own or Calgary’s.
Originally from scenic Chelyabinsk, Russia, Okhotiuk is a 23-year-old left shot blueliner. Originally a second-round selection by the New Jersey Devils in 2019, he was moved to San Jose in the Timo Meier trade. He requires waivers and carries a $789,167 cap hit at the NHL level. He’s a pending restricted free agent at the end of the season.
Okhotiuk spent two seasons as an import in the Ontario Hockey League with the Ottawa 67’s. Since moving onto pro, he’s played 58 NHL games (with New Jersey and San Jose) and registered 11 points, and played 116 AHL games (with Binghamton, Utica and San Jose) and registered 25 points. This season he’s played 43 games with the Sharks and amassed eight points, while playing five games in the AHL and registered one point.
The scouting report on Okhotiuk is he’s a reliable, if unspectacular, two-way defender who plays a physical game. He’s been a bit lost in the shuffle in San Jose, especially with them adding Jack Thompson in a trade with Tampa Bay prior to the deadline, so he heads to the Flames in search of a larger opportunity. Okhotiuk gives the Flames eight defencemen on their NHL roster and a lot of flexibility.
Okhotiuk becomes the sixth Russian or Belarusian player acquired by Craig Conroy since becoming general manager in May 2023, following Yegor Sharangovich, Andrei Kuzmenko, Artem Grushnikov, Mikhail Vorobyov and Daniil Miromanov. (Vorobyov was subsequently traded to Vegas, and it’s worth noting that Conroy also drafted Russian-born Aydar Suniev at the 2023 NHL Draft, too.)
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