VEGAS (April 14, 2019) - Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee announced today, April 14, that the team has signed forward Nikita Gusev to a one-year, entry level contract.
McPhee will address the media at 5 p.m. PT at T-Mobile Arena in the press conference room. Gusev is expected to report to the Golden Knights and practice with the team on Monday, April 15. He will wear jersey No. 17.
The Moscow, Russia native wrapped up his last season in the Kontinental Hockey League after leading SKA St. Petersburg to a Western Conference Final appearance. Gusev, 26, finished the season with a league-high 82 points (17G, 65A) in 62 regular-season games and also led the league in assists. During the KHL playoffs, he recorded 19 points (9G, 10A), which ranked second in the league.
In nine seasons in the KHL, Gusev is 10th all-time with 332 points (119G, 213A) in 391 games played. He helped lead St. Petersburg to the Gagarin Cup in 2017 and was awarded the Golden Stick in 2018, which is given to the league's most valuable player.
Gusev has also seen time at the international level playing for Team Russia. In 2018, he helped lead the Olympic Athletes of Russia (OAR) to a gold medal during the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Gusev was named the "Best Forward" after posting a tournament-best 12 points (4G, 8A) in six games. He also led Team Russia to a bronze medal during the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship and a silver medal during the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.
The Golden Knights acquired Gusev's rights during the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Nikita Gusev, Forward
Birthplace: Moscow, RUS
Weight: 181 lbs.
Draft: Selected by Tampa Bay in the 7th round (202nd overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft
- Put up a career-high 82 points (17G, 65A) to go with 10 penalty minutes in 62 games during the 2018-19 season with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL
- Had 19 points (9G, 10A) in only 18 games during the 2019 KHL Playoffs with St. Petersburg
- Named to the 2018-19 KHL All-Star Game
- Led the KHL in assists (65) and points (82) during the 2018-19 season
- Was named KHL forward of the month for January
- Recorded three four-point games this season
- Had two multi-goal games during the 2019 KHL Playoffs
- Finished the 2017-18 season with 62 points (22G, 40A) to go with two penalty minutes in 54 games with St. Petersburg
- Helped lead the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) to a gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea
- Finished the Olympics with 12 points (4G, 8A) to go with four penalty minutes in six games and was named "Best Forward" in the tournament after leading all skaters in points
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