Former Sharks 1st Round Pick Plans To Return To The NHL

Another former NHL player who has spent time overseas in the KHL is planning on making a return to the NHL next season. It just so happens Nikolay Goldobin, originally drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the first round (27th overall) back in 2014, is planning on trying to return to the NHL after a few successful seasons in Russia where he showed some of his offensive ability that wasn't present in the NHL when his pro career started.

Goldobin didn't play long for the Sharks (11 games) before he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks where he spent parts of four seasons. Goldobin is one of those players who proved time and time again that he was too talented for the NHL, but either wasn't given a proper chance in the NHL or didn't perform up to standards. His only full season in the NHL came in 2018-19 with the Canucks where he recorded seven goals and 27 points in 63 games. That's not bad for a bottom-six player, but got him just one game the following season, his last in North America before heading to the KHL for the past three seasons.

Before we get into how well he has played in the KHL, I'll give you a better look at his splits between the NHL and AHL and why he left. In 125 career NHL games, he scored 19 goals and 46 points, but in the AHL, Goldobin scored 68 goals and put up 170 points in 190 games. He is not the only player who has put up similar points between the two leagues and never stuck in the NHL. Take Seth Griffith and Matthew Phillips for example.

In the KHL over the past three seasons, Goldobin has recorded 41 goals and 94 points in 141 games. This very well may warrant a return to the NHL on a one-year deal, whether it be on a contender or a team looking to get some games out of the former first rounder and deal him at the trade deadline. I think he has a real shot of getting an NHL contract after the big seasons in the KHL. He has more experience now at age 27.

Photo credit: © Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports