The Sabres strengthened their prospect pipeline Wednesday by signing Russian winger Aleksandr Kisakov to a three-year, entry-level contract.
Kisakov, 19, is the third member of the Sabres' 2021 draft class to sign a contract, joining Owen Power and Josh Bloom. Kisakov spent most of this season with MHK Dynamo Moskva of the MHL, which is Russia's top junior hockey league. He totaled 26 goals and 56 points in 51 regular-season games before adding seven assists in six playoff games.
Kisakov was one of four Russians drafted by the Sabres last July, ending the organization's five-year run of not picking any players from a country that's waged war on neighboring Ukraine. He was ranked by NHL Central Scouting as the No. 7 European skater in the 2021 draft and the Sabres selected him in the second round, 53rd overall.
While Russian players are expected to fall in the upcoming draft because of uncertainty around the war, Kisakov was playing on an expiring contract and, according to a source, expressed interest in joining the Sabres immediately following his season.
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There aren't any restrictions in place preventing Kisakov from playing for the Rochester Americans in the fall. The Sabres still have him listed at 5-foot-10, 150 pounds, but it's possible, if not likely, that he's added weight and strength since his draft day in July. He appeared in four games with Dynamo Moskva of Russia's top professional league this season and had zero points.
But Kisakov has spent most of the past two years as a dominant junior hockey player in his home country, totaling 64 goals and 149 points in 151 games with MHK Dynamo Moskva.