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Flames sign standout Czech d-man Nakladal



AFP/Getty Images

Calgary has won the bidding war for Jakub Nakladal.

Nakladal, the 27-year-old Czech defenseman that was reportedly talking with three teams -- Calgary, Chicago and Carolina -- has signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Flames, the club confirmed on Tuesday. No word on the financials.

It’s an interesting signing, to say the least. Nakladal is a late bloomer -- he turns 28 in December -- that has bounced around since 2011, playing with Pardubice (Czech league), Ufa Salavat Yulayev (KHL), Spartak Moscow (KHL), Lev Prague (KHL) and, most recently, TPS Turku (Finnish league).

That said, the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder is held in high regard. In 2009-10, at the age of 21, Nakladal was named the Czech Extraliga’s best defenseman and has since become a mainstay on the Czech national team; at the 2015 Worlds, he had five assists in 10 games, helping his country reach the bronze medal game.

As for next year, the two-way contract means he’ll likely have to work for his spot on the Calgary blueline. The Flames have six regulars under contract for 2015-16, and some youngsters looking to make the leap to full-time NHL status.