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Columbus’ Nikitin to play in Russia

Sep 24, 2012, 12:08 PM EDT

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Nikita Nikitin

Nikita Nikitin is the latest player to move abroad.

According to the KHL website, the Blue Jackets rearguard has agreed to terms with Avangard Omsk — the league’s Siberian-based club.

Nikitin, 26, inked a two-year, $4.3 million extension with the Blue Jackets in June after a highly successful 2011-12 campaign.

Well, highly successful in C-Bus terms.

He led all defensemen in scoring (7G-25A-32PTS) despite playing just 54 games and averaged over 23 minutes a night. He also finished minus-5, no small feat given how many minutes he logged for a brutal team — just ask Fedor Tuytin (minus-21), Derick Brassard (minus-20) and Rick Nash (minus-19) how difficult that can be.

In Omsk, Nikitin will join a handful of ex-NHLers braving the Siberian climate currently playing for Avangard: Alexander Perezhogin, Karri Ramo, Anssi Salmela, Alexander Frolov and Martin Skoula.

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