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Blackhawks’ Max Shalunov signs 1-year contract with KHL’s CSKA Moscow

The 27-year-old will stay in Russia after trying to strike a deal with Lausanne HC in Switzerland.

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CSKA v SKA - Kontinental Hockey League Photo by Anna Sergeeva/ Getty Images

Max Shalunov will remain in Russia after signing a one-year contract with KHL powerhouse CSKA Moscow on Friday after contract negotiations with Lausanne HC in Switzerland did not materialize, according to Gregory Beaud of Sport-Center in Switzerland.

Shalunov’s agent, Shumi Babaev told The Athletic earlier this month the plan was for Shalunov to sign in Switzerland to start the 2020-21 season with the hope to sign with the Blackhawks once the 2019-20 NHL season officially ends. Shalunov would then join the Blackhawks for training camp prior to the NHL’s 2020-21 season starting.

Shalunov, a fourth-round selection (No. 109 overall) in the 2011 NHL draft by the Blackhawks, has scored 14 goals and 25 points in each of the past two seasons with CSKA. The 27-year-old center has played in Russia since 2014 after one season in North America where he split time between the AHL and ECHL, scoring four assists in 20 AHL games and 34 points (18 goals, 16 assists) in 43 ECHL games.

Babaev is also the agent for Blackhawks goalie prospect Ivan Nalimov, who signed a player tryout agreement with the Rockford IceHogs before the season was paused in March due to health concerns surrounding coronavirus. Nalimov, who turns 26 on Aug. 12, did participate in practices, but did not play in any games. He intends to sign somewhere in Europe.

Artur Kayumov, a second-round pick (No. 50 overall) in 2016, is currently the only Blackhawks prospect under contract with a KHL club. The 22-year-old left wing signed a two-year extension with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in December and finished the season with a career-high 25 points (16 goals, nine assists) in 60 games and two goals in six playoff contests.

The KHL’s 2020-21 season is scheduled to begin Sept. 2.