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Arizona Coyotes re-sign defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin to 1-year deal

Ilya Lyubushkin #46 of the Arizona Coyotes skates against the New York Islanders at the NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on March 24, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders shut-out the Coyotes 2-0. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes announced Friday they have re-signed defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin to a one-year deal.

Lyubushkin, 25, appeared in 41 games for the Coyotes in the 2018-19 season, his rookie year after he came over from the KHL’s Yaroslavl Lokomotiv. Injuries on the Coyotes blueline opened up the chance for Lyubushkin to play frequently in his first season.

“We are pleased to re-sign Ilya,” GM John Chayka said in a press release. “He was a solid addition to our team last year and provided us with depth and a physical presence on our blueline. We look forward to having him on our roster this season.”

Lyubushkin scored 0-4-4 in those 41 games with 13 penalty minutes.

“I am very happy to re-sign with the Coyotes,” Lyubushkin said via a team spokesperson. “We have a very good team and I’m excited about next season.”

He was going to become a restricted free agent this offseason, but Chayka and the Coyotes have one fewer contract to make a decision on as free agency looms.

With Lyubushkin signed, all eight of the defensemen that Arizona used in 2018-19 are under contract for next season, joining Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Jason Demers, Jakob Chychrun, Alex Goligoski, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Kevin Connauton and Jordan Oesterle.

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