Nikita Jevpalovs, QMJHL Top Scorer, Signed by Sharks


The San Jose Sharks announced Monday that the club has signed free agent forward Nikita Jevpalovs to an entry-level contract. The terms and money on the deal have not yet been released.

Jevpalovs, 20, currently sits second in goals (38), with 33 helpers this season. That puts him at 71 points in 45 games for Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, which is good enough for fourth in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). At 6-foot-1, 210 pounds,  Armada’s alternate captain also leads the league in game winning goals (9) and his 13 power play goals is also in the top 10 (6th).

In all of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), which combines the QMJHL with the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and the Western Hockey League (WHL), Jevpalovs’  71 points is tied for 11th, and he currently ranks 4th in goals. Also, his game winning goal total ranks third in the entire CHL, only to fellow Sharks prospect Rourke Chartier and another New York Islanders prospect.

This is Jevpalovs’ third season with Armada and is on pace to eclipse his point totals from the previous two seasons combined. He scored 39 points (18g+21a) in his first season and 54 (28g+26a) last season.

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In international play, Jevpalovs captained Latvia’s U18 team tallying 1 goal and 2 assists in 6 games in the 2012 World Junior Championships (WJC). Also in 2010-11, Jevpalovs played in the U20 WJC scoring 2 goals and 3 assists in 6 games for Latvia. Next season in the U20 tournament, he served as the alternate captain and totaled 2 goals and added 1 assist in 6 games for the last place Latvian team. Finally, in last year’s U20 WJC, Jevpalovs again was chosen to be an alternate captain and finished second in the tournament with 9 points (4g+5a) in 5 games for the silver medalist Latvians.

Latvian born, Jevpalovs is from the same hometown (Riga) as is former Sharks Arturs Irbe and Sandis Ozolinsh. If he can eventually make it to the NHL, maybe the Latvians can rally around him, like they did Zemgus Girgensons, to get him to the All Star Game. Girgensons, ironically, is also from Riga, as are 16 out of the 20 Latvian players to ever play in the NHL

With such an impressive track record, especially this season, Sharks fans should look forward to seeing what this kid can do in teal in the near future.

Next Game: Thursday January 29th @ 7 p.m. vs. Anaheim Ducks