St. Louis Blues\' Nikita Nikitin, of Russia, is congratulated by teammates after scoring his first NHL goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. The St. Louis Blues continue to take care of their own players, signing defenceman Nikita Nikitin to a one-year contract extension Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mike Carlson
ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Blues continue to take care of their own players, signing defenceman Nikita Nikitin to a one-year contract extension Thursday.
Nikitin, 24, just completed his first NHL season, playing in 41 games for the Blues with one goal and eight assists. He was eligible to become a restricted free agent on July 1.
The six-foot-three, 217-pound defenceman from Omsk, Russia, was originally drafted by St. Louis in the fifth round (136th overall) in the 2004 entry draft.
Nikitin joins centre Patrik Berglund and defenceman Roman Polak, who recently signed contract extensions prior to becoming restricted free agents.
The Blues still have players with restricted free agent status, including forwards T.J. Oshie, Matt D'Agostini, Vladimir Sobotka and B.J. Crombeen, as well as goalie Ben Bishop.