Nikitin (ankle) has been medically cleared to play in Thursday's opener.
Nikitin, 28, was acquired from Columbus this offseason to bring some added experience to the Oilers blueline. He had a breakout year in 2011-12, but has failed to eclipse the 20-point mark in any of his other four seasons. He will start his Oilers career on the second pairing with Mark Fayne; who will also be making his Edmonton debut.
The Oilers have signed defenceman Nikita Nikitin to a two--year deal worth $9 million.
The Oilers acquired Nikitin's rights from the Blue Jackets in exchange for a fifth-round pick. The 28-year-old Nikitin has had a very difficult time staying healthy. He missed 16 games this season with a combination of upper and lower-body injuries. He has missed a total of 54 games over the last three seasons (25.5% of games). However, when he is in the lineup he has shown flashes of top-4 defenseman. He had 32 points in his first year with the Blue Jackets but saw his production fall to two goals and 13 assists (15 points) last year.
Nikitin (upper-body) is doubtful for Saturday's game.
Nikitin played only 7 minutes and 16 seconds in Thursday's blowout loss to the Blackhawks. He left the game and did not return and will not play on Saturday. With Nikitin out, the Blue Jackets have recalled Frederic St. Denis from Springfield.
Nikitin left Monday's game after playing just 5:36 and did not return. This is a tough break for Nikitin who had a goal and four assists in his last seven games. Dalton Prout will step in on the blueline.
#CBJ D Nikita Niktin will return to lineup tonight. Adrian Aucoin is out.
Nikitin missed Columbus' last game with an undisclosed injury but will return tonight. Nikitin had a great season last year posting 32 points in 61 games, but he has struggled to find his way this season. He has two goals and two assists in 23 games this season.