According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Vegas Golden Knights are one of five teams who are looking to add Andrei Kuzmenko to their roster for the upcoming season.
Kuzmenko, 26, is coming off of an incredible season with St. Petersburgh in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in which he recorded career highs with 20 goals and 53 points in just 45 games. He has also suited up for 16 playoff games in which he has registered seven goals and 14 points.
“There’s still some time here, probably about a month before KHL free agent Andrei Kuzmenko makes his decision on where he’s going next year,” Friedman said on his ’32 Thoughts’ podcast. “There’s been a lot of interest, among the teams: Vancouver and Edmonton on the Canadian side of the border, Vegas, Carolina and Nashville in the U.S.”
This would be a fantastic get for the Golden Knights, as Kuzmenko’s 53 points led his team by a wide margin this season. We have seen several star KHL players come over to the NHL in recent years and continue to produce big numbers, with the two most notable being Artemi Panarin and Kirill Kaprizov. Of course, there are some that haven’t worked out as well, one in particular being Vadim Shipachyov, who appeared in just three games with the Golden Knights before heading back overseas in 2017-18.
A player like this, while being a bit of a risk, likely wouldn’t command a very big contract, which would be very ideal for a cap-strapped team like the Golden Knights. For comparisons’ sake, Shipachyov’s contract was a two-year, $9 million deal, though he was coming off of a ridiculous 26-goal, 76-point season that came in just 50 games. Kuzmenko’s figures to be lower, and has the potential to be a major bargain for whichever team ends up winning the sweepstakes.
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