Earlier this morning, KHL-Nizhnekamsk announced the signing of Kings farmhand Damir Sharipzianov, who had been loaned to the Tatarstan-based club. Sharpizianov – or “Sharpy,” if you’re into hockey lingo – totaled three assists in 38 games with AHL-Ontario and two goals and four points in 10 games with ECHL-Manchester during his first full professional season and first season of his three-year ELC. The 21-year-old is a Nizhnekamsk native who played for the club’s junior team in the MHL during the 2012-13 season before spending three seasons with OHL-Owen Sound. He signed his ELC in the summer of 2015 after strong showings in the OHL, Russian national team camps and L.A.’s development camp.
— ХК Нефтехимик (@HCNeftekhimik68) May 10, 2017
Via Twitter’s translation tool, that reads in English, “Welcome home, Damir @Sharipzian44! Defender @LAKings our pupil Damir Sharipzjanov closest season would meet in Cleveland!” Is that a reference to Ontario having played in Cleveland during the Calder Cup semifinals last spring? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
There’s a little bit of a logjam on the Reign blue line next year, with Oscar Fantenberg, Alex Lintuniemi, Zac Leslie, Kurtis MacDermid and Matt Roy expected to battle for minutes. Leslie and MacDermid are restricted free agents in need of new contracts; the club will also inevitably sign players who will compete for spots in training camp but will almost certainly be ticketed for Ontario, as was the case with Zach Trotman this past season. Chaz Reddekopp is also an option, though as a 20-year-old, he’ll also be eligible to return to WHL-Victoria.
Sharipzianov still counts against the club’s 50 standard player contract limit. Here’s the best of luck to Sharipzianov as he returns home for the upcoming season.