Samuel Knazko Photo: Gints IVUSKANS / AFP
The Columbia Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League (NHL) have signed a three-year contract with the 18-year-old Slovak national team defender Samuel Knazko, according to spectator Aaron Porcelain.
#CBJ have signed D Samuel Knazko to a three-year, entry-level contract. Knazko, who turns 19 in August, was a third-round pick (No. 78 overall) in the 2020 #NHL draft. CBJ acquired that pick, along with F Max Domi, in the trade last Oct. 6 that sent F Josh Anderson to Montreal.
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) June 9, 2021
In the third round of the 2020 NHL draft, Knažko was chosen by the Columbus organization with the total number 78. The hockey player is expected to represent the Turku TPS team in Finland’s top hockey league next season. He has developed in this club for the last three seasons.
The Slovak style of play is described on the website “Eliteprospects”. “His passes are better than most defenders. He is able to find players in vacancies. He feels good playing with the awkward side of the stick, making sharp and precise passes. He excelled in mobility, and his skating skills help him play successfully in defense. ”
Knažko also helped the Slovak national team at this year’s World Championship in Riga, where he did not stand out in eight successful games, closing the tournament with a negative efficiency of “-1”. He also took part in the U20 World Championship, where he was the national team captain, returning one result pass in four matches, as well as accumulating the efficiency factor “-4”.