Why adding Andrei Kuzmenko is a home race for the Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks They gained their award.

Andrei Kuzmenko’s representatives introduced on Monday that the KHL star plans to signal with the Vancouver Canucks. Actual contract particulars are but to be settled, however the 26-year-old CBA is restricted from signing a one-year entry contract attributable to his age.

Kuzmenko, a right-wing striker who performs on the left wing, has improved his factors manufacturing in 5 consecutive Premier League seasons, scoring 20 objectives and 53 factors in 45 video games final season. One might argue that it is instantly the higher left wing on the Canucks’ depth chart.

Canucks chart for left wing depth

with GT Miller Shift to center and Nils Hooglander Coming off Bruce Boudreaux, there may be little or no competitors for the enduring Russian ahead to earn his finest six minutes. This was, in brief, an enormous promoting level for the Canucks. Constrained to a one-year deal, Kuzmenko wished to ensure he was able to succeed and that the Canucks might current an ideal alternative. as I stated beforThe membership additionally believes it could possibly be the largest contributor to the facility sport.

What can Kuzmenko realistically provide Canucks?

One approach to look at its potential impression is to seek out KHL gamers who’ve graduated to NHL newly. Particularly, we will probably be on the lookout for gamers much like Kuzmenko in age and KHL manufacturing (it will eradicate stars similar to Artemi Banarin And the Kirill Kaprizov who had been the highest scorers within the KHL at a a lot youthful age) then see how they carried out within the NHL. That may give us a tough concept of ​​what the Canucks can count on. This is what these comparisons seem like, ranked from highest to lowest level for every KHL sport from its 24-26 campaigns.

Kosmenko statistical corporations


Age 24-26 KHL P/GP

NHL First Yr P/GP

NHL P/GP . profession




















to be introduced in a while

to be introduced in a while

There’s a giant set of findings right here that present how troublesome it’s to spotlight the affect of a KHL participant in North America.

Kuzmenko and Radulov have averaged 1.18 factors per sport within the KHL’s 26 seasons. However the huge distinction is that Radulov was a standout producer earlier than he turned 26. Radulov already had 312 factors in 258 whole matches within the KHL on the age of 26. He additionally scored 26 objectives and 58 factors with Predators In simply 21, Kuzmenko scored 200 factors in 315 matches of the KHL Championship.

So yeah, whereas Kuzmenko and Radulov look practically equivalent at 26 years outdated, the 2 aren’t actually comparable gamers whenever you issue within the sum of the work. Radulov was on a very totally different stage, nearer to the extent of Panarin / Kaprizov when it comes to KHL manufacturing.

The manufacturing of Nikita Gusev, whose age ranged from 24 to 26 years, was considerably greater than that of Kuzmenko. Joseph hit the bottom operating within the Nationwide Hockey League with 44 factors in 66 video games in his first yr with demons. He went by a disastrous 2020-21 marketing campaign regardless that he was just lately disqualified earlier than maple leaves on PTO final fall forcing him to return to Russia. Gusev’s drawback was with gaining two-way confidence, particularly since he is listed at solely 5ft 10, 176lbs.

The lesson right here is that the KHL’s elite factors whole does not at all times result in sustained success within the NHL, regardless that the Devils nonetheless managed to make one productive season out of it. This ready-made meal might be reconfirmed by Vadim Shepachev. Shipachyov was signed on the age of thirty to heart the highest six streak for Vegas Golden Nights Of their inaugural 2017-18 marketing campaign. Shepatchyov appeared misplaced in coaching camp, nonetheless, and was demoted to the AHL’s Vegas affiliate twice in lower than a month. Shepatyov didn’t need to toil in minors, so he introduced his retirement from the Nationwide Hockey League after showing in solely three main league video games and returned to Russia.

In fact, there are examples of KHL signings which have achieved effectively too.

Evgeny Dadunov He emerged as a top-six winger upon his arrival in North America for the second time. Dadonov had stable numbers, however not an elite within the KHL (he did not cap the purpose mark in each sport till I held him on the age of 27) and is much like Kuzmenko. Dadonov scored 65 factors in his first season within the Nationwide Hockey League with Florida Panthers She adopted it up with 70 factors the next yr. Kuzmenko additionally shares an identical bodily profile as each gamers are listed at 5ft 11.

There will probably be a a lot steeper studying curve for Kuzmenko than for Dadonov. Dadonov was drafted by the Panthers in 2007 and spent 4 years cut up between the AHL and the NHL earlier than returning to Russia. In different phrases, Dadonov already had lots of expertise enjoying in North America and understanding what works and what does not within the NHL surroundings earlier than becoming a member of the Panthers for a second spherical. It was simpler for him to instantly translate his success into the NHL than Kuzmenko.

Ilya Mikheev It’s one other success story for KHL. Mikheev had 23 factors in 39 video games in his first yr with the foliage, earlier than damage interrupted his season. The quick winger has been a priceless heart piece for the Leafs, scoring 20 objectives and a 40-point tempo over the previous three seasons. However Mikheev is a a lot totally different participant from Kuzmenko. Kuzmenko has extra dynamic and developed expertise, however Mikheev is far bigger, sooner and extra secure defensively. In different phrases, Kuzmenko has the next attacking ceiling, however he additionally has potential that Mikheev did not, as a result of his total ability set matches the type of the NHL and has worth past simply his attacking vary.

One other comparable is Alexander Barabanov. Parabonov initially struggled to seek out his match within the Deep Leafs in 2020-21 and was finally handled. San Jose Sharks. Since then, he is discovered his stride with the Sharks, scoring 39 factors in 70 video games final season.

Statistical comparisons are nice, however Kuzmenko is clearly totally different and distinctive from all of the gamers at this desk. What do individuals who know Kuzmenko finest in Russia take into consideration his potential impression with Canucks?

“I believe he is a 50-60 level participant per season if he is dependable and performs along with his good teammates,” stated a senior KHL govt. athlete. “He’d freak out lots of NHL defenses with the insane variety of cuts he makes per sport. He is superb at controlling the puck alongside the boards. He is good at lunging, good at managed entries and powerful in skates. He has good imaginative and prescient, feinting strikes. His is his highly effective capacity, his shot is above common.”

Fifty to 60 factors could be a landslide and doubtless near the best-case situation for Kuzmenko and Canucks. However it’s not a shocking futuristic for his roof as he has an unmistakably dynamic expertise to be a professional high six. It is also nice to notice the CEO’s feedback about Kuzmenko’s energy on his skis. Kuzmenko is listed at 5ft 11,194lbs so he is not the largest, but when he can struggle and translate his work into corners, it’ll assist him overcome the bodily difficulties of the NHL.

The larger query, after all, will probably be how rapidly he can adapt to the type of the NHL. He should regulate to a brand new nation, with new coaches and new teammates in a league that’s sooner, extra expert and extra bodily than something he has seen in his life. Overcoming this problem could make or break a participant’s switch within the NHL. Is Kuzmenko prepared for this? The method will not be completely easy in line with the KHL CEO and the Canucks could should be affected person, however the membership might be assured in Kuzmenko’s work price.

“There are some questions on his mentality, he undoubtedly wants time to adapt to the brand new circumstances and situations,” stated the KHL govt. “However there’s a sturdy will to continuously advance and his work ethic may be very excessive.”

There aren’t any ensures with regards to Russian free brokers, however Kuzmenko is a stable wager for achievement. That is the swing at residence for the Canucks to get their finest potential six for a fraction of the associated fee in opposition to the cap. This frees them up to make use of the remaining cowl area they’ve so as to add a high 4 defensive participant this low season. It additionally offers them the flexibleness to commerce with somebody like JT Miller, Brooke Bowser or Conor Garland With extra confidence.

Jim Rutherford and Patrik Allvin are in a tricky spot as they should mine for future property with out utterly destroying the listing – they’re making an attempt to construct for the dealer And the long-term. Buying and selling a participant like Miller, Boeser or Garland would deliver priceless property and max flexibility however clearly harm the roster itself. Kuzmenko’s addition offers the Canucks one other indoor six residence possibility to assist mitigate the switch lack of one in all these gamers.

In the end or not, including Kuzmenko is an enormous win, a really priceless roll of the cube for the Canucks.

(Photograph: Maxim Konstantinov/SOPA Pictures/LightRocket through Getty Pictures)