The Philadelphia Flyers have signed 6’2’’, 203-pound free agent right wing Nikolai Zherdev (NIH-koh-ligh ZHAIR-dehv) to a one-year contract, according to club General Manager Paul Holmgren. Per club policy, financial terms were not disclosed.
“Nik is a highly-skilled player who, at 25-years-old, we feel will be a good fit to our core of forwards,” said Holmgren. “Prior to playing last season in Russia, Nik ranked as one of the top young point-producers in the NHL. We are pleased to add him to our team.”
Zherdev, 25, appeared in 52 games with Atlant-Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League in 2009-10 where he recorded 39 points (13G,26A) and 79 penalty minutes during the regular season. He led the team in penalty minutes (79), while also finishing second on the team in assists (26) and third in points (39) this past season.
In 2008-09, his last season in the National Hockey League, he recorded 58 points (23G,35A) and 39 penalty minutes and appeared in all 82 regular season games with the New York Rangers. He led all Rangers in goals (23) and tied for the team lead in points (58), while finishing second on the club in assists (35).
Over parts of five seasons in the NHL with the Columbus Blue Jackets (2003-04 to 2007-08) and Rangers (2008-09), Zherdev has compiled 239 career points (99G,140A) and 203 penalty minutes in 365 regular season games. He has also appeared in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games, going scoreless.
A native of Kiev, Ukraine, Zherdev was selected by the Blue Jackets as the fourth overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.