On the night of the Expansion Draft, the Golden Knights agreed to select Jason Garrison from the Tampa Bay Lightning. In exchange, Vegas was to be sent a 2nd round pick in 2017, which the Golden Knights eventually traded for Keegan Kolesar, a 4th round pick in next year’s draft, and a 24-year-old forward from Russia, Nikita Gusev.
Gusev has been playing in the KHL with SKA St. Petersburg since 2015, and has played on the same line as Vadim Shipachyov for a majority of the time. Gusev also played in the IIHF World Championships, again on the same line as Shipachyov, where he scored seven goals and had seven assists in 10 games in route to winning a bronze medal.
But since the trade that sent his rights to Vegas, we haven’t heard much about the Golden Knights’ future plans of the left winger.
Gusev was a seventh-round pick in 2012. He is a playmaking wing who has one year left on his KHL contract with SKA St. Petersburg in Russia. Gusev has no immediate plans to return to North America, his agent, Dan Milstein, said. Yzerman said he didn’t know if Gusev ever would return. –Joe Smith, Tampa Bay Times
He has one year left on his contract in the KHL, and his agent has made it clear he would like to play in the Olympics.
That’s at least a year away, we knew they when we traded for him it might be a year away. But he came for a little bit and we think he liked what he saw, but we’ll have to revisit that next spring. -McPhee
Gusev has been described as a “faster version of Artemi Panarin,” which would be a welcome addition to a Golden Knights roster that is a bit short on scoring.
Shipachyov would play a major factor as they’re linemates and very good friends. Gusev has a chance to be paid in the KHL in the future but have no doubt that if Vadim likes it in Vegas, Gusev will be first one to hear and will make the jump. -Aivis Kalniņš, BTB Hockey
Obviously, McPhee saw some value in him, and there appeared to be a real desire to completely reunite the Russian line of Gusev, Shipachyov, and free agent Evgeni Dadonov. But with Dadonov signing with Florida, and Gusev seemingly a year or so away, it looks the “Russian Roulette” line may have to wait. Darn.