SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — The San Jose Sharks are using the coronavirus pandemic hiatus to help beef up their minor league system. Today they signed 21-year-old goalie Alexei Melnichuk to a reported two year deal, and 26-year-old forward Fredrik Handemark to a one year contract.

If the current season resumes, both prospects would not be allowed to play.

Melnichuk has experience in the Russian hockey league and was coveted by other NHL franchises. He’s expected start next year in the minor leagues and will work closely Sharks legendary goalkeeper Evgeni Nabokov.

Handemark could be more NHL-ready than Melnichuk. He scored 38 points and 52 games in Sweden last year, and was the captain of his team for three seasons.

The Sharks last played a game on March 11th with 12 games left on their schedule. They currently have 63 points which ranks dead last in the Western Conference.

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