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Blackhawks' Viktor Tikhonov to play vs. New York Islanders

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The Russian forward will make his regular-season debut for Chicago.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Viktor Tikhonov will make his regular-season debut for the Chicago Blackhawks when they visit the New York Islanders on Friday at the Barclays Center.

Tikhonov skated on the third line at right wing alongside Bryan Bickell (left wing) and Andrew Shaw during Thursday's and Friday's morning skate. He takes the spot of rookie Kyle Baun, who skated 9:23 of total ice time across 12 shifts with one shot in the Blackhawks' 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers in their home opener. On Thursday, Baun skated on the top line with Teuvo Teravainen and Jonathan Toews as Marian Hossa took a maintenance day. Baun rotated with Ryan Garbutt on the fourth line Friday.

The 27-year-old Russian forward signed a one-year deal worth $1.04 million with Chicago in July. He played the past four seasons with SKA St. Petersburg in the Kontinental Hockey League. He had eight goals and 16 assists in 49 games, adding a goal and an assist in 15 postseason games for SKA during their run to a Gagarlin Cup. He was also a line mate with Artemi Panarin, who signed with the Hawks in April.

Tikhonov was drafted 28th overall by the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2008 NHL draft from Severstal Cherepovets of the KHL. He signed a three-year contract with the Coyotes in July of that year. He would play in 61 games scoring eight goals and 16 points before he was assigned to their AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage.

The Russian winger started the 2009-10 season in the AHL with the Rampage and played 18 games before taking a loan with Severstal. The Coyotes recalled him in March and rejoined the team.

The name should sound familiar; Tikhonov is named after his grandfather, the legendary coach of the dominating Soviet Union teams from the 1970s-80s.