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The Calgary Flames have apparently added to their organizational depth. The club has reportedly signed veteran Russian defenseman Nikita Nesterov to a one year deal worth $700,000 according to reports by Sports24 in Russia and PuckPedia. (It’s presumably a one-way deal.)

A product of scenic Chelyabinsk, Russia – home of the awesomely-named Traktor Chelyabinsk KHL team – the 27-year-old Nesterov is a left shot defender who can play the right side, which he regularly has done at the NHL and KHL levels.

He was a fifth round pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning way back in the 2011 NHL Draft, and has put up 33 points in 132 NHL games split between the Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens. Nesterov headed back to Russia in 2017 and has spent the past three seasons with CSKA Moscow. In the KHL, he’s put up 61 points in 181 games.

Nesterov has a really interesting resume and has gotten a lot of team-based hardware over his hockey career. He’s won World U-18 bronze, World Junior silver and bronze, Olympic gold and the KHL’s Gagarin Cup championship.

Adding Nesterov gives the Flames some flexibility, in that he can play either side of the blueline. He gives the Flames some much-needed depth on the right side where he presumably slides in behind Rasmus Andersson and Chris Tanev on the third pairing. It’s unclear what this means for restricted free agent Oliver Kylington, a lefty who played the right side in Sweden but hasn’t yet in North America (and would’ve been the third pair right-side option by default prior to Nesterov’s signing).


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