SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota Wild General Manager Bill Guerin today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed defenseman Dmitry Kulikov (dih-MEE-tree KOO-lih-kawv) to a two-year, $4.5 million contract ($2.25 million AAV).
Kulikov, 30 (10/29/90), recorded four assists, 49 blocked shots and 93 hits in 48 games with the New Jersey Devils and the Edmonton Oilers last season. The 6-foot-1, 204-pound native of Lipetsk, Russia was acquired by the Oilers from the Devils on April 12, 2021, in exchange for a conditional fourth round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. He skated in his 700th NHL game on March 13 vs. the Islanders. Kulikov registered 10 points (2-8=10), 77 blocked shots, 104 hits and averaged 20:01 in TOI/game in 51 games with the Edmonton Oilers in 2019-20.
He owns 174 points, 455 penalty minutes (PIM), 957 blocked shots and 1,149 hits in 725 career NHL games during 12 seasons with Florida, Buffalo, Winnipeg, New Jersey and Edmonton (2009-21). The left-shot defenseman has collected seven points (1-6=7) in 27 career Stanley Cup Playoff contests with the Panthers, Jets and Oilers. He was selected by Florida in the first round (14th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft.
Kulikov has represented Russia in a number of international tournaments including the 2007 (gold) and 2008 (silver) IHF Under-18 World Championships, the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship (bronze), the 2010, 2011 and 2015 IIHF World Championships and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
He led all defensemen with 62 points (12-50=62) in 57 games with Drummondville in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) in 2008-09 and was named the QMJHL Rookie of the Year, Defensive Rookie of the Year, Best Professional Prospect and Defenseman of the Year. He added 19 points (2-17=19) in 19 playoff games as the Voltigeurs advanced to the Memorial Cup semifinals.