Sasha Chmelevski signs 1-year deal with KHL’s Salavat Yulaev Ufa

The Huntington Beach native is leaving the Bay.

San Jose Sharks forward prospect Sasha Chmelevski has signed a one-year contract with Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), announced his agent, Dan Milstein, earlier today. Selected by the Sharks in the sixth round of the 2017 NHL Draft, the 6-foot-0, 185-pound forward was a restricted free agent (RFA) and issued a qualifying offer before the July 11 deadline. The Sharks will retain his NHL rights after the 2022-23 season.

Chmelevski, 23, played 19 games with the Sharks during the 2021-22 season, scoring 8 assists during that time. With the San Jose Barracuda, Chmelevski played 47 AHL games, scoring 37 points (12 goals, 25 assists), including his first professional hat trick on Jan. 8, against the Henderson Silver Knights. In 122 AHL career games, Chmelevski has totaled 88 points (35 goals, 53 assists).

Internationally, the Huntington Beach native has played for Team USA on the bronze medal-winning 2021 World Championships squad and won silver at the 2019 World Junior Championships. With the Sharks signing four new forwards in free agency, along with two more pending RFA signings, Chmelevski may have seen the KHL as a way to see more ice time next season. He averaged just over 13 minutes during his 19 games in the NHL this past season.

Salavat Yulaev Ufa competes in the Eastern Conference of the KHL. During the 2021-22 season, the team placed third in the East, posting a 28-11-6 record in 45 regular season games. Established in 1961, the team has won the Gagarin Cup as the KHL champion once and the regular season championship twice. The team is coached by former San Jose first-round pick Viktor Kozlov. Salavat Yulaev is set to open their season against SKA St. Petersburg on Sept. 3, in St. Petersburg.