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San Jose, Ca - The San Jose Barracuda (@SJBarracuda), proud American Hockey League (@TheAHL) affiliate of the San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks), and General Manager Joe Will announced today that the club has signed defenseman Karlis Cukste (CAR-less SHOOK-stuh) (@KarlisCukste). Per club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"We've been impressed with Karlis' development since he was drafted," said Will. "He has been a dependable defenseman for quality teams. Karlis' blend of size, character and awareness give him the tools to continue his development at the pro level, and we are pleased to have him join the Barracuda."
Cukste, 23, completed his senior season this past spring at NCAA Division I Quinnipiac University (@QU_MIH), appearing in 34 games for the Bobcats, posting 18 points (four goals, 14 assists), 14 penalty minutes and an even-rating, while wearing an "A" as one of the team's assistant captains.
Over his four-year career at Quinnipiac, the Riga, Latvia, native skated in 148 games, collecting 66 points (14 goals, 52 assists), 97 penalty minutes, 234 shots, three power-play goals, and a plus-21 rating.
Prior to his time with the Bobcats, Cukste skated in 44 games for the USHL's(@USHL) Chicago Steel (@ChicagoSteel) during the 2015-16 campaign, recording 15 points (four goals, 11 assists), 10 penalty minutes, and a minus-four rating.
In 2016-17, Cukste dressed in six games for the U20 Latvian National Team at the World Junior Championships in Toronto/Montreal, collecting a goal and a pair of assists, along with eight penalty minutes, finishing tied for second on his team in scoring during the tournament.
The six-foot-three, 220-pound, left-shot defenseman was selected by San Jose in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Draft (130th overall).