Vladimir Sobotka is back with the St. Louis Blues, just in time for the NHL playoffs.
The former Blues winger, who had been playing in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, returned to the Blues on Thursday by signing a three-year, $10.5 million contract extension. Sobotka had one year remaining on his previous NHL deal that he now fulfills before his extension kicks in next season.
The 29-year-old forward will join the Blues for their 6 p.m. road game Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes and is eligible for the playoffs. He will wear No. 71, the opposite of the No. 17 he wore previously during four seasons with the Blues.
Sobotka’s former No. 17 is now worn by Blues winger Jaden Schwartz.
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Sobotka last played with the Blues during the 2013-14 season, when he had nine goals and 33 points in 61 games. He went to arbitration with the club after that season and was awarded a one-year deal, then decided instead to sign a free-agent deal to play in the KHL.
He is known as a physical, aggressive forward with good speed who plays well defensively and is an exceptional penalty killer.
Sobotka spent the past three seasons playing for the Omsk Avangard team in the KHL. He had nine goals and 30 points in 41 regular-season games this season and three goals and 10 points in 12 playoff contests.
During his time playing in Russia’s professional league, Sobotka had 37 goals and 102 points in 138 games. He also had four goals and 14 points in 18 Russian playoff games.
While playing four seasons with the Blues, Sobotka had 29 goals and 101 points in 247 games. Counting his previous NHL seasons with the Boston Bruins, the Czech Republic native has 35 goals and 123 points in 381 games.
Sobotka also has three goals and 12 points in 40 NHL playoff games.