Former NAHL, NAPHL defenseman Knyzhov makes NHL debut
March 12, 2020
Former NAHL and NAPHL defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov made his NHL debut this past week for the San Jose Sharks.
Knyzhov, 21, has played in 33 games for the San Jose Barracuda in the AHL this season, recording five points (one goal, four assists) with a plus-four rating and 22 penalty minutes in his rookie season in the AHL. He scored his first professional AHL goal on Feb. 23 at the Ontario Reign. This is his first professional recall to the Sharks.
Knyzhov made his NHL debut on March 7th and has played in three NHL games thus far with no points.
Prior to his North American professional career, Knyzhov split the season with St. Petersburg in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and the Vysshaya Liga (VHL) in 2018-19. He appeared in 46 games for St. Petersburg's VHL team, ending the 2018-19 season third among the club's defensemen in games played, and made his KHL debut with the parent club, skating in three contests. He also was named VHL Prospect of the Month during the 2017-18 season in January.
Internationally, Knyzhov represented Team Russia at the World Juniors in 2018, appearing in five games.
The 6’3/200 lbs. native of Moscow, Russia was signed by San Jose as a free agent on July 2, 2019.
Knyzhov played in the NAHL for the Springfield Jr. Blues during the 2015-16 season and briefly for the Austin Bruins during the 2016-17 season. In 21 career NAHL games, he recorded three points.
During the 2013-14 season, Knyzhov played in the NAPHL for the Phoenix Firebirds 16U and 18U teams, posting six points in 25 regular season games played.