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Arizona Coyotes sign Czech defenseman Ronald Knot to one-year deal

Coyotes continue building a new roster for next season.

Ice Hockey - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 8 Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The Arizona Coyotes continue to build a new-look roster for the 2022/23 season, with the free-agent signing of Czech defenseman Ronald Knot.

General manager Bill Armstrong has a difficult task ahead of him as the Coyotes look to build a roster for the upcoming season with no less than 14 impending free agents - nine of which are unrestricted.

The team began work on adding bodies beyond the 2021/22 campaign towards the end of the regular season, with Nathan Smith and Jack McBain both signed as free agents out of college, with Slovakian forward Miloš Kelemen also signing a two-year ELC this off-season.

Now, the Coyotes have delved into the European free agent market once more and signed 27-year-old right-handed blueliner Ronald Knot.

Knot, who hails from Prague, had played his entire professional career in his home country prior to the 21/22 season - where he moved to Russia to play for HC Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk in the Kontinental Hockey League.

This past season saw Knot make 49 regular-season appearances in the KHL, scoring four goals and adding a further 13 helpers along the way - with three scoreless playoff appearances to his name as Traktor Chelyabinsk swept his side in the first round.

His efforts in the KHL saw him earn international recognition as he was named to Czechia’s roster for the Olympics earlier this year - providing a single assist in four appearances as his country finished ninth in the tournament, falling to Switzerland in the playoff round.

The experienced defenseman provides the Coyotes with some age to a young corps, with just two other players aged 25 or older on the roster at the time of writing, as well as impressive size - standing at 6-foot-4, 217lbs.

Knot’s one-year deal is reported to be for a league minimum $750,000. It is two-way - meaning he will have a salary of just $150,000 should he be sent down to the Tucson Roadrunners - though it would be reasonable to expect a return to Europe to be an option should that ever happen.