A successful KHL starting goaltender who is ready to bring his talents to North America
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June 2022- Melnichuk signed a two-year deal in May to play for HC Sochi in the KHL. He played 31 games for the Barracuda in the AHL, posting a 3.92 GAA and 867 SV%. He then played six games for Tampa’s ECHL affiliate, the Orlando Solar Bears, posting a 3.04 GAA and 895 SV%.
Melnichuk has performed well in the KHL the last few years, so it’s reasonable to be hopeful that his next two years will help him regain some confidence so he can return to North America with some swagger. However, it’s entirely possible he remains in the KHL for the rest of his playing career. Tampa retains his rights until the end of the 22/23 NHL season. Caleb Kerney.
March 2022 – Melnichuk has been traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has a chance to back up Vasilevski in the future if he progresses to the NHL. Pat Quinn
May 2021 – Melnichuk’s first full season after signing in San Jose was nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. The netminder began the season on loan to the KHL where he had posted a dazzling 1.68 goals-against average to go along with a .930 save percentage just one season ago. Rather than returning to SKA St. Petersburg where he had found tremendous success, he was loaned to Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, a far inferior team. Although he was unable to match his stellar numbers from one season before, the Russian backstop posted a respectable 2.68 GAA and .912 save percentage in fourteen starts. Unfortunately, the downward trend in his numbers continued when he came to North America. His AHL performance was mediocre at best, finishing the season with a GAA over three and a sub .900 save percentage. The damage did not stop there though, as he slid into his first two NHL starts and one relief appearance for the Sharks down the stretch. Melnichuk gave up eleven goals in his first two outings as a starter. Not exactly the way that the young netminder had surely hoped his NHL career would begin. To his credit, Melnichuk was promoted to the taxi squad and then demoted to the AHL on what seemed like a weekly basis sometimes. Although he did not have to travel far, the uncertainty alone is enough to throw any goaltender off their game. Melnichuk may not have gotten off to a hot start in North America, but his numbers overseas should give Sharks fans some confidence in their goaltending pipeline. With the departure of Devon Dubnyk and the struggles of Martin Jones this season, Melnichuk will most likely compete with teammate Josef Korenar for a roster spot with the Sharks in 2021-2022. Another likely scenario could see a three goalie rotation until a clear starting tandem is determined. Alex Howes