The Carolina Hurricanes announced on Friday that they have agreed to terms with forward Valentin Zykov, the AHL’s 2017-2018 leading goal scorer. The deal will pay Zykov $650,000 in the 2018-2019 season, then bump up to $700,00 in 2019-2020.
Zykov, a 2018 AHL All-Star, scored 33 goals alongside 21 assists in 63 regular season games for the Charlotte Checkers last season. He also tallied six points (four goals and two assists) in the 2018 Calder Cup playoffs.
Zykov was called up to Canes for 10 games in 2017-2018, netting three goals and dishing four assists.
The St. Petersburg, Russia native — a 2013 second-round pick (37th overall) by the L.A. Kings — opened eyes last year with his goal-scoring ability, including those of Canes GM Don Waddell.
“Valentin is a big body who proved he had the ability to finish around the net on the AHL and NHL levels last season,” Waddell said in a statement.
Carolina shipped out Kris Versteeg and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2016 for Zykov. Prior to his time in the NHL, Zykov was the QMJHL’s Rookie of the Year for the 2012-2013 season. The team release is below.
CANES AGREE TO TERMS WITH VALENTIN ZYKOV
Forward led AHL in goals in 2017-18
Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with forward Valentin Zykov (ZEE-khov) on a two-year contract. The deal will pay Zykov $650,000 in 2018-19 and $700,000 in 2019-20.
“Valentin is a big body who proved he had the ability to finish around the net on the AHL and NHL levels last season,” said Waddell.
Zykov, 23, appeared in 10 games for the Hurricanes in 2017-18, totaling three goals and four assists (7 points). The St. Petersburg, Russia, native won the 2018 Willie Marshall Award as the American Hockey League’s (AHL) leading goal scorer, netting 33 goals and adding 21 assists (54 points) in 63 games for the Charlotte Checkers. Zykov (6’1”, 224 lbs.) also led the AHL in power-play goals (17) and shooting percentage (29.5%) and ranked tied for third in the league in game-winning goals (7).
Acquired by the Hurricanes on Feb. 28, 2016, in exchange for Kris Versteeg, Zykov has appeared in 12 career NHL games with Carolina, totaling eight points (4g, 4a). He has played 174 career AHL games with Ontario and Charlotte, registering 102 points (56g, 46a). Zykov has represented Russia in several international tournaments, including the 2014 World Junior Championship, where Russia won bronze.