SAN JOSE, CA - San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) general manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has signed defenseman Artemi Kniazev to a standard, entry-level contract. Per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"Artemi had a great camp with us this summer, where he continued to show his poise with the puck, intelligence, and high-end skating and edge work," said Wilson. "We are excited for him to go back to his QMJHL team and have a big season with them. Chicoutimi is a contender for the championship under head coach Yanick Jean, and we expect Artemi to be a big part of the team's success."
Kniazev, 18, played 55 games with the Chicoutimi Saguenéens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) in 2018-19. He scored 13 goals and 21 assists with a plus-11 rating in his first professional season. His goal total paced Chicoutimi defensemen and was tied-for-fifth amongst all teammates. Kniazev was also second in assists and points and tied-for second in plus-minus rating amongst fellow Saguenéens blueliners. He finished seventh among first-time eligible CHL defensemen in points-per-game and ranked third among Chicoutimi rookies in points.
Before playing in the Canadian Hockey League, Kniazev played for Irbis Kazan of the Russian junior league MHL. In 39 games, he scored four goals and three assists, with a plus-one rating and 20 penalty minutes.
Kniazev played for Team Russia in the 2018-19 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, earning a bronze medal. In 2016-17, he represented Russia in European Youth Olympic Festival, where he won gold.
The five-foot-ten, 182-pound native of Kazan, Russia was drafted by San Jose in the second round of the 2019 NHL Draft (48th overall).