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Latest On Nikita Gusev’s Future In The NHL

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Nikita Gusev is a 26-year-old Russian forward, right-handed, 5’10”, 181 pounds. He currently leads the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in scoring with 59 points in 48 games. Last year, he was the runner-up in points in the KHL, just one behind now LA King Ilya Kovalchuk. He also won the KHL’s Golden Stick last year, which is awarded to the MVP of the league and has a great chance of winning it again.

Nikita Gusev is also NHL property of the Vegas Golden Knights. The rules are a bit fuzzy, but from our understanding, because Gusev was drafted (by Tampa Bay in 2012) and has never signed an entry-level contract he remains Vegas property indefinitely.

Gusev’s contract in the KHL expires at the end of this season, which could mean it is time for him to make the leap to the NHL. Last week, on the VGK Insider Show on Fox Sports Radio, George McPhee was asked how confident he was that Gusev will end up playing for the Golden Knights.

Well, we’re not sure about that. It’s never really clear, it’s never that easy when you have players over in Russia. It’s just never easy. Sometimes you get them to come over, it isn’t very often that they never come over, but sometimes it takes a while. I can’t give you a straight answer on that because I don’t know, there’s always a little bit of a mystery to dealing with Russian players. -McPhee

Gusev is an elite offensive talent with incredible vision on the ice. He dominated the Olympics helping Russia win the gold medal, he’s torn up the KHL over the past four seasons, and he became just the fourth player to win the Golden Stick, joining current Dallas Star Alexander Radulov who won it four times, and KHL legends Sergei Mozyakin and Danis Zaripov.

If Gusev decides to come to the NHL next season, he instantly projects among the Golden Knights top six forwards and could be a massive offensive boost.

In August, McPhee traveled to Russia where he took in an SKA St. Petersburg preseason game. He also reportedly visited with another Russian prospect, Vladimir Tkachyov. When he returned, I asked about Gusev again.

We’re hoping he will (come to the NHL). We’ve had some conversations and it sounds like it’s something that he would like to do but we will see what next year brings. -McPhee on 9/6/18

Nothing will happen on the Gusev front until at least May, but while you keep your fingers crossed, enjoy a highlight reel and try to keep from drooling too much.


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  1. DGL

    Could use the firepower with all the injuries and reduced production from first line.

  2. Jason

    What does the khl pay its players? Is it comparable to nhl salaries?

  3. Jonathan

    HAHA wow did you see that freakin’ move just before the minute mark? What in the heck is that?! That was like Kung Fu Hockey, I want that to be a move in a video game lol that is absolutely ridiculous and awesome. *picks jaw off the floor*

  4. Steve

    So this Zykov kid has ties with Gusev right? So we really butter up Zykov really really good and get him to tell Gusev how awesome it is in Vegas. Just keep him away from Shippy lol.

  5. Vic

    Can you promise he won’t have the post/crossbar disease that we seem to be afflicted with.

  6. Nordis

    Are you serious1M$..?
    SKA has big money and pays especially for Datsuyk and Gusev kind of players big time money.

    • I have no clue how it’ll work over here as there are some weird rules in the CBA about non-North American players. However, to my knowledge, he currently makes the equivalent of $1M USD playing for SKA.

  7. Tim Fink

    To give Nikita Gusev away for what their saying is a second round and low level prospect is insane. They have to find a way to keep him with Nick Holden at 2.2 million and Deryk Englland at 1.5 million problem solved. Jimmy S. replaces Miller, and Nick H. replaces Englland and we move on. I can’t believe George M. and Kelly M. would give him away.

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