Defenseman Yegor Rykov has signed a one-year deal in the KHL.
This development isn’t a surprising one, as the AHL season isn’t going to start until December, and more so because Rykov has a European assignment clause in his contract that allows him to explore other opportunities if he isn’t on the Rangers’ NHL roster. It is also possible that the Rangers are loaning him out, but regardless it appears he will be playing in the KHL next season.
Rykov’s season in the AHL got off to a bumpy start due to injury, and he never seemed to get in a rhythm with the Wolf Pack. Going back to the KHL isn’t the worst thing for Rykov, as it will give him the opportunity to play and marinate a little more as a player.
The Rangers ended the season with a left-handed depth chart that include Ryan Lindgren, Marc Staal, Brendan Smith, and Libor Hajek, and there’s a chance that K’Andre Miller will factor in at some point when the 2020-21 season commences. There’s also bound to be an external acquisition, whether by trade or free agency, as the left side was a major weakness this season.
No matter how you slice it, Rykov didn’t project to be a main part of the Rangers’ left side to start 2020-21, so going back to the KHL for the time being ultimately could be beneficial for both him and New York.