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Columbus’ Nikitin to play in Russia

Nikita Nikitin

Nikita Nikitin is the latest player to move abroad.

According to the KHL website, the Blue Jackets rearguard has agreed to terms with Avangard Omsk -- the league’s Siberian-based club.

Nikitin, 26, inked a two-year, $4.3 million extension with the Blue Jackets in June after a highly successful 2011-12 campaign.

Well, highly successful in C-Bus terms.

He led all defensemen in scoring (7G-25A-32PTS) despite playing just 54 games and averaged over 23 minutes a night. He also finished minus-5, no small feat given how many minutes he logged for a brutal team -- just ask Fedor Tuytin (minus-21), Derick Brassard (minus-20) and Rick Nash (minus-19) how difficult that can be.

In Omsk, Nikitin will join a handful of ex-NHLers braving the Siberian climate currently playing for Avangard: Alexander Perezhogin, Karri Ramo, Anssi Salmela, Alexander Frolov and Martin Skoula.