The Devils acquired winger Nikita Gusev from the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday, in exchange for a third-round pick in 2020 and a second-round pick in 2021. The team also signed him to a two-year contract worth an AAV of $4.5 million.
Video: ANALYSIS | Nikita Gusev Trade
Around the hockey world, the trade was well-received by fans and media members alike. The Devils were able to add a player who has great credentials and the potential to become an impact player in the NHL someday.
BRINGING THE SPEED AND SKILL
Abbey Mastracco from NorthJersey.com wrote a bit on what Gusev brings to the table and he seems to be the type of player that will mesh will with the roster the Devils are building.
"The right-shot forward was a teammate of former Devil Ilya Kovalchuk and legendary former Detroit Red Wing Pavel Datsyuk in St. Petersburg. The 5-foot-11, 176-pound Gusev is a great skater with good speed, sense, and tremendous vision. The Devils' system is predicated on speed and skill and this infuses the lineup with both of those aspects. He doesn't take many penalties and he's useful in several situations."
ESPN GIVES DEVILS AN "A"
ESPN's Greg Wyshynski wrote that the Devilspulled "off a heist" on Vegas with their trade for Gusev.
BEST PLAYER OUTSIDE THE NHL
Although the 27-year-old forward has yet to play a game in the NHL, many analysts believe Gusev is destined to thrive in North America. He possesses elite vision and lethally accurate shot. He's a four-time All-Star in the KHL and led the league in assists and points in the 2018-2019 season playing for SKA St. Petersburg. He recorded 17 goals and 65 assists along with a plus-39 rating in 62 games played.
"There is a very strong argument to be made that Nikita Gusev has been the best hockey player in the world that was not already playing in the NHL,"said Adam Gretz from NBCSports.
"The Devils are really about to add the No. 1 player in the draft and the No. 1 player outside the NHL in the same offseason, alongside a former Norris winner and a recent MVP,"says The Athletic's Scott Wheeler."Nikita Gusev owns three of the 37 highest-scoring seasons in the history of the KHL. He just broke Alexander Radulov's record for most assists in a season. He's good."
WHERE DOES HE FIT?
The right-handed left-winger should make an immediate impact in the lineup next season and can serve as another piece to the progressive changes the Devils are making in their offense that finished 25th in scoring last season. Although he is right-handed, Gusev plays left-wing in order to utilize his offensive ability best on the rush and in the opponent's zone, similar to how the Washington Capitals play their Russian forward, Alexander Ovechkin.
Video: Daneyko speaks about Devils trading for Gusev
"Terrific player, and from all indications I hear talking to some of the Devils' people and people outside the organization, [his] hockey IQ is off the charts. Very similar to Artemi Panarin, who came over and had a lot of success. He's got a wicked one-time right-handed shot, plays the left side, he's deadly on the powerplay. He's a guy that creates offensive opportunities and creates points," said Ken Daneyko, New Jersey Devils legend, and MSG Network analyst.