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Maple Leafs sign defenceman Nikita Zaitsev

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Monday that the club has signed defenceman Nikita Zaitsev to a one-year entry level contract.

Zaitsev, 24, collected 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists) and 20 penalty minutes in 46 regular season games with CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) this past season, before adding 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 20 playoff games. His 13 points in the post-season were tied for the most among KHL defenceman. Zaitsev was twice selected to play in the KHL All-Star Game and was named a KHL first-team all-star in 2014-15. The Moscow, Russia native collected 95 points (32 goals, 63 assists) and 156 penalty minutes in 317 career regular season games in the KHL. Zaitsev also registered 24 career KHL playoff points (seven goals, 17 assists) in 51 games.

Zaitsev will participate in the 2016 IIHF World Championships with Team Russia.

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