The Devils today announced that they have come to terms on a one-year entry level contract for defenseman Egor Yakovlev.
Yakovlev (which the press release mentions is “also listed in Russian as ‘Iakovlev'”) is a little bit older at 26-years-old and has played from 2012 to 2018 in the Kontinental Hockey League. The press release mentions that he spent three seasons with SKA St. Petersburg and three with Yaroslavl Lokomotiv.
Last season with SKA St. Petersburg, the Magnitogorsk, Russia native notched five goals and four assists along with 14 penalty minutes in 35 games. His best career year, according to the press release, was 2016-17 when he set a personal best in assists with 15, points with 21 and plus/minus with a plus-30. SKA won the Gagarin Cup (the KHL’s championship) that season as well.
His KHL totals, according to the press release, saw the 6-foot, 190-pounder record 68 points (26 goals and 42 assists). He also had 210 penalty minutes and a plus-29 rating. His Gagarin Cup Playoff totals read ten points (two goals and eight assists) in 67 games. He also had 34 penalty minutes in the postseason.
The press release also notes his international accomplishments. He won a gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang with the Olympic Athletes from Russia team. He registered a single point (an assist) in five games.
The lefty-shooting d-man has also been to three World Championships with Team Russia (inlcuding this year when they did not medal). The 2014 team he was on won a gold medal and the 2015 team won a silver medal.
Although he is an older player, he does have some good experience, especially with the championship he won in 2017. The thing you always have to worry about is how the Russian imports will adjust to the NHL and the smaller rink. Obviously with a player like Sergei Kalinin, it did not work out. But it is only a one-year ELC, so it is not like there is a huge committment being made to him here.