The reigning AHL goals champ is returning to the Checkers for the time being, with the Canes assigning Valentin Zykov to Charlotte for a conditioning stint.
Zykov led the AHL in goals and power-play goals last season while setting a league record with a 29.5 shooting percentage. The Russian-born forward – who was selected in the second round by Los Angeles in 2013 before being acquired in the Kris Versteeg deal in 2016 – has totaled 88 points (49g, 29a) in 131 games with the Checkers over his career, plus 14 points (7g, 7a) in 43 AHL games with the Ontario Reign as a rookie.
The Checkers are in the midst of their longest road trip of the season thus far, facing Lehigh Valley on Wednesday before visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for a weekend series. The addition of Valentin Zykov gives Charlotte 13 healthy options at forward, as Patrick Brown and Spencer Smallman were both forced out late in Saturday’s win over Lehigh Valley with injuries that head coach Mike Vellucci said could be “long term.” They join Greg McKegg on the sideline as the veteran forward has not returned to action after suffering an injury during the team’s most recent home stand.