The San Jose Sharks no longer have to worry about negotiations with Sasha Chmelevski but it’s not because they’ve reached an agreement. Instead, the restricted free agent has signed a contract with Ufa Salavat Yulaev in the KHL, according to his agent Dan Milstein.
Because they gave him a qualifying offer this summer, the Sharks will retain Chmelevski’s rights for the time being, though it is unclear what his plans are moving forward. The 23-year-old forward played in 19 NHL games this season scoring eight points in the process and was a strong performer at the minor league level.
Originally selected in the sixth round of the 2017 draft, making it to the NHL was already an impressive feat. Now, with a handful of games under his belt, he’ll pursue a bigger opportunity elsewhere.
The Sharks will hold Chmelevski’s rights until his 27th birthday, which is still almost four years away. Whether he returns in that time or gets another chance with them at the NHL level, remains to be seen.