Why adding Andrei Kuzmenko is a home race for the Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks They received 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 because of 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 targets 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 long-lasting Russian ahead to earn his finest six minutes. This was, briefly, an enormous promoting level for the Canucks. Constrained to a one-year deal, Kuzmenko needed to ensure he was able to succeed and that the Canucks might current a terrific alternative. as I mentioned beforThe membership additionally believes it could possibly be the most important contributor to the ability sport.

What can Kuzmenko realistically supply Canucks?

One technique to study its potential influence is to search out KHL gamers who’ve graduated to NHL newly. Particularly, we shall be on the lookout for gamers just like Kuzmenko in age and KHL manufacturing (this can eradicate stars reminiscent of Artemi Banarin And the Kirill Kaprizov who have 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 afterward

to be introduced afterward

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 massive distinction is that Radulov was a standout producer earlier than he turned 26. Radulov already had 312 factors in 258 complete matches within the KHL on the age of 26. He additionally scored 26 targets 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 an identical at 26 years outdated, the 2 aren’t actually comparable gamers while you issue within the sum of the work. Radulov was on a very completely different stage, nearer to the extent of Panarin / Kaprizov by way of 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 working within the Nationwide Hockey League with 44 factors in 66 video games in his first 12 months with demons. He went by a disastrous 2020-21 marketing campaign regardless that he was not too long ago 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 complete does not all the time 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 middle the highest six streak for Vegas Golden Nights Of their inaugural 2017-18 marketing campaign. Shepatchyov appeared misplaced in coaching camp, nevertheless, and was demoted to the AHL’s Vegas affiliate twice in lower than a month. Shepatyov didn’t wish 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 accomplished nicely 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 just 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 12 months. Kuzmenko additionally shares the same bodily profile as each gamers are listed at 5ft 11.

There shall 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 a whole lot of expertise taking part in in North America and understanding what works and what does not within the NHL setting earlier than becoming a member of the Panthers for a second spherical. It was simpler for him to right away 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 12 months with the foliage, earlier than damage interrupted his season. The quick winger has been a beneficial middle piece for the Leafs, scoring 20 targets and a 40-point tempo over the previous three seasons. However Mikheev is a a lot completely different participant from Kuzmenko. Kuzmenko has extra dynamic and developed expertise, however Mikheev is way 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 general talent set suits the type of the NHL and has worth past simply his attacking vary.

One other comparable is Alexander Barabanov. Parabonov initially struggled to search out his match within the Deep Leafs in 2020-21 and was ultimately 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 completely 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 influence with Canucks?

“I believe he is a 50-60 level participant per season if he is dependable and performs along with his good teammates,” mentioned a senior KHL government. athlete. “He’d freak out a whole lot 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 robust in skates. He has good imaginative and prescient, feinting strikes. His is his highly effective means, his shot is above common.”

Fifty to 60 factors can be a landslide and doubtless near the best-case situation for Kuzmenko and Canucks. Nevertheless it’s not a shocking futuristic for his roof as he has an unmistakably dynamic expertise to be a reputable prime 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 isn’t the most important, but when he can battle and translate his work into corners, it should assist him overcome the bodily difficulties of the NHL.

The larger query, in fact, shall be how shortly he can adapt to the type of the NHL. He should alter 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 might not be totally easy in response to the KHL CEO and the Canucks could have to be affected person, however the membership might be assured in Kuzmenko’s work fee.

“There are some questions on his mentality, he positively wants time to adapt to the brand new circumstances and situations,” mentioned the KHL government. “However there’s a robust will to continuously advance and his work ethic could be very excessive.”

There aren’t any ensures on the subject of Russian free brokers, however Kuzmenko is a stable guess for achievement. That is the swing at house for the Canucks to get their finest potential six for a fraction of the associated fee towards the cap. This frees them up to make use of the remaining cowl house they’ve so as to add a prime 4 defensive participant this low season. It additionally provides them the pliability 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 must mine for future belongings with out fully destroying the listing – they’re attempting to construct for the dealer And the long-term. Buying and selling a participant like Miller, Boeser or Garland would carry beneficial belongings and max flexibility however clearly damage the roster itself. Kuzmenko’s addition provides the Canucks one other indoor six house choice to assist mitigate the switch lack of one among these gamers.

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

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