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Report: Oilers' Nikitin will not leave for Russia

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports / USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Nikita Nikitin will not be heading to his native Russia, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

According to Friedman, rumors had surfaced this week that Nikitin would return to Russia and play in the KHL, rather than opting to play in the American Hockey League.

Nikitin was placed on waivers last week and assigned to the team's AHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors.

The 29-year-old played his junior hockey in Russia for his hometown club, Avangard Omsk. He also suited up for Omsk in the KHL during the 2012 NHL lockout.

Nikitin has tallied 17 goals and 75 points in 248 career NHL games.

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