Reports about the San Jose Sharks looking to speed up their retool with European free agents emerged two weeks ago and the team has verified two of the rumored signings.
Russian goaltender Alexei Melnichuk has been signed to a two-year entry-level contract with an average annual value of $925,000.
“Alexei was being pursued by a number of teams and we’re pleased that he decided to join the Sharks,” said Sharks general manager Doug Wilson. “He has a unique blend of athleticism and technical play and has impressed at each level he has advanced. This past season he has proven that he can more than hold his own amongst players much older than he and we are excited for him to work with Evgeni Nabokov and our development staff.”
To read our initial report on Melnichuk, click here.
The team also addressed forward depth, taking a chance on Swedish forward Fredrik Handemark, who signed a one-year entry-level contract worth $792,500.
“Fredrik is a well-rounded player who can play in all situations and ranks as one of the top faceoff centers in Europe dating back to his time in juniors,” said Wilson. “He is a powerful skater with high character and leadership qualities having been the captain for the Malmo Redhawks the past three seasons and has played well the last few years at the National level. We are happy to have him join our organization.”
Our original report on Handemark can be found here.