The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Samuel Knazko to a three-year entry level contract, club General Manager and Alternate Governor Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. The blueliner was selected by the Blue Jackets in the third round, 78th overall, at the 2020 NHL Draft.
Knazko (pronounced kuh-NAZ-koh), registered five goals and 10 assists for 15 points with 22 penalty minutes and a +19 plus/minus rating in 23 games with TPS Jr. in Finland's junior league (Jr. SM-Sarja) in 2020-21. The 18-year-old led club blueliners in plus/minus rating and ranked second in goals and penalty minutes as well as third in both assists and points. He added 0-2-2 in two postseason contests in 2021.
A native of Trencin, Slovakia, Knazko recorded 14-46-60 with 36 penalty minutes and a cumulative +29 plus/minus rating in 120 career contests with TPS Jr. in Finland's junior league from 2018-21. He set career highs in goals, assists and points with 7-21-28 in 48 appearances in 2019-20 and ranked second among team defensemen in goals, assists and points during the campaign.
The 6-0, 190-pound defenseman has represented Slovakia at numerous international tournaments. He skated in eight games at the recently completed IIHF World Championships in Latvia and served as team captain at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championships. Knazko also represented Slovakia at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championships as well as the 2018 and 2019 IIHF World U18 Championships.
FULL SAMUEL KNAZKO STATS