MOSCOW, September 24 (RIA Novosti) – The Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Nikita Nikitin has signed a lockout contract with his hometown KHL team Avangard Omsk, the Russians said Monday.
The 26 year old was traded to Columbus from his first NHL team, the Saint Louis Blues, in 2011.
Nikitin spent seven years at Avangard before moving to North America in 2010.
“We called Nikitin right after the lockout was announced and he expressed his interest in playing for his native team,” Avangard’s president Alexander Sterlyagov said on the team’s website.
The president also vowed that Nikitin would not be last lockout acquisition at the Gagarin Cup finalist.
“We are carrying out active work on the transfer market and we will announce one more signing in the nearest future.”
Nikitin, a 2012 world champion with Russia, has notched up 41 points in 102 NHL games.