One day before the start of Fall, the NY Islanders finally make their first off-season free-agent signing. On Wednesday afternoon, the Isles signed former Toronto Maple Leafs forward, Nikita Soshnikov to a one-way, $750K deal. Additionally, the Islanders extended goaltender Cory Schneider and Parker Wotherspoon to one year contracts. Soshnikov was a free agent out of the KHL, Schneider was an unrestricted free agent, and Wotherspoon was a restricted free agent.
Soshnikov, 28, spent the last three seasons playing in the KHL, dressing for Salavat Yulaev Ufa, CSKA Moscow, and last season for Avangard Omsk. Last season, Soshnikov scored four goals and 16 points for Omsk and in 13 playoff games, he tallied five goals and eight points. In 79 regular season contests in the KHL, the Nizhny Tagil, Russia native scored 12 goals and 42 assists. He had two prior stints in the KHL in 2013-14 and 2014-15 where he scored five points, then 32 points respectively.
Soshnikov played 87 career NHL games between KHL stints with the Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues. He scored just eight goals and eight assists in that time. He played 56 games with the Maple Leafs during the 2016-17 season, the most in his NHL career.
His EliteProspects profile reads, "Soshnikov is an extremely smooth and quick skater, and uses his edges to evade defenders and create space for his teammates. Has a very good shot and often chooses to shoot first. He is creative with the puck, and often opts for an extra move when he might be better off passing."
Schneider, 36, returns to the Islanders on a one-year deal. Last season, he served as the Bridgeport Islanders starting goaltender and appeared in one game for the varsity Islanders last season earning a win. IN 30 AHL starts last season, Schneider posted a 14-11-4 record with a .921 save percentage and 2.71 goals against average.
Wotherspoon, 25, was Bridgeports leading scoring among defenseman last season with 34 points (three goals and 21 assists).