The Vegas Golden Knights are getting reinforcement for their playoff push.
Vegas announced it signed KHL leading scorer Nikita Gusev to one-year entry level contract on Sunday. Gusev, a Moscow native, scored a league-high 82 points (17 goals, 65 assists) for SKA St. Petersburg this season, which was eliminated in the conference finals of the Gagarin Cup playoffs last week. Gusev was the KHL’s MVP in 2018.
The 26-year-old Gusev was previously on the Golden Knights’ reserve list and is eligible to play in the postseason. He needed to be released from his KHL contract early in order to sign in the NHL.
Gusev helped the Olympic Athletes of Russia to a gold medal in the 2018 Olympics, tallying 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in six games. He was recently named the training camp roster for Team Russia for May’s World Championships in Slovakia, though he is unlikely to play in that tournament now. Gusev played nine seasons in the KHL, accumulating 332 points (119 goals, 213 assists) in 391 games.
The Golden Knights are currently tied with the San Jose Sharks, one game apiece, in their first round series. Game 3 is Sunday night in Las Vegas.
Vegas acquired Gusev’s rights from the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2017 expansion draft.