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AFTER LENGTHY EFFORTS, THE VANCOUVER CANUCKS LAND RUSSIAN FREE AGENT ANDREI KUZMENKO

JUN 20, 2022  (14H49)      JON
The Vancouver Canucks have signed F Andrei Kuzmenko according to his Instagram page:

image

There was a fairly serious race to secure Kuzmenko's services featuring as many as five NHL teams. The 26 year-old power forward scored 154 points in 209 KHL matches over four seasons with St. Petersburg SKA. The book on Kuzmenko says he is a strong puck protecter who doesn't offer a ton on the rush, but can play a vital role in the cycle game. More of a meat & potatoes kind of player, he could gel well with Vancouver's star players like Elias Petterson, JT Miller, & Brock Boeser. He certainly seems like the type of player Bruce Boudreau wants to coach.

Apparently, Boudreau & Canucks GM Patrik Allvin went to great lengths to secure Kuzmenko's services. Per Rick Dhaliwal, they each took a serious drive to meet with Kuzmenko & his agent, Dan Milstein:


The gesture impressed Kuzmenko, and more importantly for the Canucks, it worked. There is question over whether or not Kuzmenko's acquisition will provide the Canucks with a key contributor. It is a low-risk bet by Vancouver, but there isn't much reason to believe Kuzmenko's game will translate to first-rate production in the NHL. However, with players like Petterson, Boeser, Bo Horvat, Nils Höglander, he may provide exactly the type of player they need. Time will tell.

No details on the signing have been made public yet, but it is believed the terms are favorable for the Canucks. They likely added term to keep the AAV low. He will make his NHL debut in the 2022-23 season.
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